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Bridge to Terabitia

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Bridge to TerabithiaBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, since I didn’t have power last night, I passed the hours reading through the Kindle Ap on my iTouch.

I can very rarely read a book after I’ve already seen the movie, but this book is so well written that that wasn’t a problem. I loved the colloquial language and all the strong emotion and feeling in the writing.

I’m not too proud to admit…I was reading through tears for the last couple chapters.

View all my reviews

Categories: Life Lessons Tags:

My Favorite Things – Children’s books

October 26, 2010 6 comments

Since my mom has been in the process of moving and getting rid of everything that is not completely “hers,” every time I see her, I’m presented with a box of some sort.

Usually on the top or bottom of the box (or both!) is a pile of long forgotten friends…my favorite books when I was a kid. Since I helped her clean the books out of the attic, I’m constantly surprised at these finds she brings to me and where on earth they may have been stashed.

My brother and sister receive the same sorts of stacks, but at least they have children in the house who may continue to use the books. Myself? I have an entire shelf of a bookcase devoted to these books…and no idea if I should keep some of them and pass them on!

So, my top 5 favorites…

1. Tiki Tiki Tembo. I was a huge fan of Caldecott Award-winning books. I love me some pictures! I can still remember the voices of the narrators from the record (yes, the giant CD-looking things) that came with this book. I think that record has helped me to be an expert at rereading this book to my nieces and nephews!

2. Caps for Sale. Chances are, I saw this book on Reading Rainbow. I loved that show. Any reason to watch TV at school was good by me. I liked this book because the guy was selling hats like my dad wore. And monkeys stole them. Who doesn’t love monkeys? And had I not read this book over and over as a kid, I might think it’s ok to take naps at work. But alas, it’s not. If you take naps at work, monkeys will come steal all your merchandise.

3. The Frances Books: Bread and Jam for Frances, Bedtime for Frances, etc. From the time I was born until I entered school, my name was not “Mary,” it was “Mary Frances.” But when you go to kindergarten and the teacher takes attendance, she doesn’t think of calling you by first and middle name, so I became, simply, Mary. From then on, whenever anyone found out my middle name was Frances (a name that I only knew “old people” to have, like my grandmother), I’d get incredibly embarrassed. But the badger in these books was a little girl too. And she got to eat bread and jam. I love bread and jam.

4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I think this was one of the first “long” books that I read all the way through (so maybe it’s not a “children’s book,” but it’s an old memory). Most who know me won’t argue that I have a short attention span. Probably why I loved Caldecott Award winning books. I need pictures (or AMAZING dialogue) to hold my attention for any length of time. The main character’s name is also “Francie” … hrm…close to Frances.

5. The Little Critter Books: Just Me and My Dad, All By Myself, Just Go to Bed, I was So Mad, I Just Forgot, etc. What exactly is the Little Critter? Is he a badger, like Francis? A porcupine? I’ll probably never know… I think I liked these books so much because they usually completely, totally revolved around the Little Critter (and his mom, dad, grandma, etc). I think I wanted to have things revolve around me that way instead of having to share time with older siblings.

What were your favorite books as a kid?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

F is for…

September 28, 2010 2 comments

First Communion and Family!

My brother and his wife recently moved into my mother’s house with his five (6 this winter!) kids. Until Mom’s new house is finished, it’s quite a full house!

As part of this process, Mom has gone through everything she owns, which in turn means…more and more piles for my sister and I of stuff we had when we were kids that continued to hang out in the house.

My sister-in-law presented me with a HUGE box for my birthday. Inside of it was a few pieces of clothing from when I was little…some kids books (including Caps for Sale, which was one of my favorites. Those crazy monkeys!) and other bits and pieces of my life.

My neices were of course mesmerized by my First Communion veil. Mom did a great job when she picked it out!

I was mesmerized by how tiny my dress was. I always thought of myself as a stocky kid (probably because my older sister was teeny)…but I realized the dress was quite small when my 7 year old niece couldn’t even get it over her head!

I can still remember Mom spending hours pulling little bits of pink ribbon out of the sleeves and collar of the dress. She had the hardest time finding something that she thought would be appropriate (little did she know of the wedding dress style dresses girls would wear these days!). But Sister said there was to be NO color on the dress. I was so worried about the pink ribbon that remained down the center of the front.

I was the shortest girl in my class so I was the first one to line up for the procession into the church and the first one to receive. I was also supposed to give a two sentance opening prayer. I almost jumped out of my shoes when Sister had to tap me on the shoulder to remind me to get to the front of the church to recite that prayer. I was so nervous!

Book Review, More Things to Make!

September 17, 2010 1 comment

I recently received my copy of “Stitched Toys: 20 Stunning but Simple Designs” (from half.com of course).  This morning while my coffee brewed, I took the time to flip through it.

I’m in love! The toys are so beatiful! I want some for myself!

Now the only problem I’ll have is figuring out which one to make first. I think the Gonk is in the lead so far!

Categories: DIY Tags: , , , , ,

Another Weekend of Finishing

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Normally, I would have thought I had a pretty lazy weekend. But thanks to this blog and trying to think of something to add after this long weekend, man I look productive!

Finishing was again a theme for the weekend. I love finishing things! Being able to empty that tub of cream cheese in the fridge and throw it out before it’s done…using up those millions of bottles of hotel shampoo I’ve inherited…finishing a project that had been set aside for a while…all of these bring me odd satisfaction.

Friday night, I was meeting up with some friends from college I haven’t seen in a long time. The boyfriend and I decided to head out early and get dinner before we all met up. Sometimes it’s nice to always know someone everywhere we go…sometimes it’s dangerous!

Inventory!

Not 10 minutes after we sat down, we had not just one…but TWO beer samplers. Now I love sampling some beer…but I don’t usually order 2.5 glasses all at once! But yes, I managed to finish it! (and more…)

Saturday night I headed to Times for Tawana’s MS Walk fundraiser. I knew I’d be there early and be there for a while, so I took a book I’d started reading one night there while keeping Charles company. Guess what? I finished it!

Sunday I finally finished moving. Yes, it’s been almost a year…but I had a few bags of stuff (all that stuff that didn’t deserve a box because yeah. I didn’t really want any of it).

One garbage bag was set aside for Goodwill and 80% of the rest of it was listed to my half.com inventory. But I’m sure Charles is more than thankful that I’ve finally finished moving out of his house!

I also finally managed to take Dad’s old laptop to Microcenter to be fixed since I failed at getting the OS reinstalled. I was SO on track to being a self-proclaimed genius! But it kept freezing. Oh well. One more “to do” off the list!

Yesterday after finishing my homework, I also finished all of the cross stitch on the baby quilt I uncovered last month. It only took me years! Now all I have left are the outlines and low and behold…I might actually finish a baby gift before the baby is born!

Now if I could only finish putting away the rest of the crap I brought home from Charles’ house…

Categories: DIY, Home Tags: , , , , , , ,

Grandma was “Green” Way before it was so popular…

August 12, 2010 3 comments

So, back to that story about “doggy feed”…

One chapter in “We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier” led me to purchasing the book for every female in my mother’s family one year.

“I think Tom Brokaw said it best when describing the ‘Greatest Generation:’ Why can’t any of y’all throw out your leftovers? …

“So I get the whole war-surviving, Depression dealing-business, but what I don’t get is why somebody who has a $35 monthly house payment and bought Circuit City stock for a quarter a share is still cleaning refolding used tin foil and washing out the Ziploc bags….

“The Greatest Generation refuses to throw away disposable cups. Just watch them. Oh I know. We ‘young folks’ are squandering our natural resources. Truly, great majestic forests of Solo-party-cup-producing red, yellow and blue plastic are disappearing faster than piercable body parts on a Gen X-er. “

This chapter alone had me in fits of laughter (“What’s all that giggling!?” Granddaddy would have said).

It was so funny because it was so true.

Grandma was a forward-thinking environmentalist before we knew what that was.

She would invite dozens of people to her house and put out a huge stack of paper and plastic plates (not all the same kind. It was quite nice to have the choice between divided plates, little plates, big plates…).

Next to the pitchers of sweet tea and lemonade would be the aforementioned solo cups. Next to the applesauce, little plastic cocktail cups (I don’t know how much later in my life it was that I realized these cups were meant for cocktails…not applesauce).

When the meal was over, without fail, Grandma and Giggie (her sister) would go around gathering up all the cups and plastic plates, spoons, etc… and throw them in the dishpan.

I wonder what the cost per use on those applesauce cups was for grandma…

When it came time to put away the food, she’d go looking for the ziplock bags she’d cleaned other food out of and storage containers that were probably older than my mother.

If there were food scraps left on plates…those went into giant coffee cans. Doggy feed cans. I never knew my grandmother to have a dog. No. Those nasty, smelly, sometimes week old cans would go home…none other than me. (packaged up one or two at a time in a bag that used to hold bread. Amazingly, they fit perfectly!) I can still remember that rank smell…

My dogs probably thought they’d died and gone to heaven with these food scraps (often bits of gravy and the bones from steaks and roasts).

It took YEARS to convince her that neither did our dogs NEED this extra nourishment, nor, quite frankly, did we want to deal with it anymore!

And then her freezer. OH her freezer! She and my grandfather lived alone, but I never opened her stand-alone freezer to be confronted with empty self space. Nope! What if there was a storm? (it’d have to last years for all that food to be used up!) My mother still has peas in her freezer that Grandma put up in 1999.

But in this day of bring-you-own-bag to the grocery store (I don’t think she EVER threw away a bag) and composting (yep, did that too) and “upclying” worn out clothes (got a hole in your shoe? Throw it in the “river shoe” box) I realize that more and more, Grandma was a smart woman thinking so far ahead of her time.

Thrifty Thursday, Part Two

July 15, 2010 2 comments

I won’t normally post twice in one day, but this is just too odd to not discuss.

After hearing all the hype about Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, I finally caved and bought it (along with another book I’d really been wanting from Border’s). With coupons and free shipping, I essentially got Dave’s book for free. Good investment, right?

I finally read it last night.

I found it quite disappointing. I don’t need to read a bunch of proverbs and anecdotes to realize that I shouldn’t be in debt and debt is a bad thing. I really was expecting a more “here’s what you do to fix it” sort of thing…not a “why you should fix it.” I know why…

So the one thing I got out of his book? I should sell his book on Half.com and use that money to pay down debt.

I listed it this morning, it sold at 2:30. Thanks Dave for that $13 profit.

(On the other hand, I think I will really save money with Jenny Hart’s Embroidered Effects! I have all sorts of plans for upcycling!)