Showing posts from April, 2012

to my sister on her birthday

To my sister, A1, on her birthday--I give you something dear to me:

Mumford & Sons "Sister"

still plugging away

Image reading Newbery winners...
The Cat Who Went to Heaven, Elizabeth Coatsworth, was the 1931 Newbery medal winner. This is a very short (thank God!) story about a poor Japanese artist whose life begins to turn around after his housekeeper brings home a cat which they name, “Good Fortune,” (as soon as I read that I simultaneously groaned and wanted to shout, “THE CAT IS GOING TO BRING YOU GOOD LUCK!! I GET IT!!”)
Lucky kitty in tow, poor artist now gets very prestigious work--commissioned to paint Buddha’s death. As the artist tries to decide which animals will be in this mural (each animal represents different aspects of Buddha’s life and reincarnations!) his cat watches on with admiration and a desire to be included in the painting...while I won’t give away the ending (keep in mind the cat’s name is Good Fortune), I will say I was so glad when it ended.
Would I recommend it: Yes, to extreme cat lovers and aspiring Buddhists..and maybe someone I was mad at.
Ages: Amazon recommends 8 a…

zoom on in

We are always on the go, especially this week with TRANSPORTATION. Here's my storytime goods:
“Shake Your Sillies Out,”#13, Raffi’s More Singable Songs

Flannel Board: “Green plane, green plane, what do you see?” OR “Bus to Storyland”

Flannel Board: ““This Little Train”

Music/Movement: “The Wheels on the Bus” w/motions

Book 1:The Seals on the Bus, Lenny Horton

Book 2/Prop Story: Duck in the Truck, Jez Alborough w/puppets


Have you ever had one of those moments where you fulfill a dream? Right before it happens you have this heart pounding, adrenaline rushing moment of clarity and then your spirit kinda free falls. I had one of those moments last week; been meaning to write about it, but things have been so busy.

Last Tuesday Bestie L sent her girls to their grandparents for the night, left her hubby to his own devices, and made the 3 hours trek to Cleveland so we could go to Anne Lamott's lecture--Anne Lamott is one of our favorite authors, by the way.

After a quick tour of OHCity Library and a change of clothes we headed downtown to my new favorite drink spot, Bricco, for martinis and some delicious calamari and fried pickles. They have a drink called the Pink Elephant which is amazing...and enough of those will have you seeing pink elephants. Check it out if you're ever in downtown Cleveland!

In no time I was watching in anticipation as Anne Lamott made her way across the stage and began talk…

gonna write you a letter

Like tons of others, I gobbled up all things Beverly Cleary when I was a kid; I laughed at Ramona’s antics, wanted a dog like Ribsy, wanted a paper route like Henry Huggins…and maybe had a secret crush on him too. There was something familiar about Cleary’s writing, something that sucked you in and made you feel at home, so I was glad to be returning to her work when I picked up Dear Mr. Henshaw, 1984’s Newbery winner. (Cleary also has two Newbery Honors for Ramona and Her Father (1978) and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (1982). Having read Dear Mr. Henshaw so long ago I only had a vague memory of what it was about: a boy writing letters to his favorite author, Mr. Henshaw. I didn’t remember the kid angst and emotions that Cleary gracefully portrays through her protagonist, Leigh Botts,who is struggling with being the new kid in town, his parents’ divorce, and a lunch thief—favorite part of the book, the lunch box alarm.

I enjoyed rereading this book and the jog down memory lane—thinking back o…

you are what you eat...


I know it's afternoon...

Cat Stevens - Morning Has Broken

we remember each other

Happy Earth Day ya'll!
"Sleeping in the Forest"
I thought the earth remembered me,

she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects, and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
--Mary Oliver

Also, been meaning to also welcome newsest follower, Marvin! Thanks for stopping in and joining along.

death by delight

This week has been nuts. Instead of closing two nights I swapped with someone to help her out and ended up closing an extra night, and because my best friend L came down so we could go to a lecture I had to switch two shifts, so everyday this week has felt like a different day and finally it's Friday!

Heading to the Mitten (MI) again tonight after work, this time for best friend K's bachelorette party. I can't wait to be enjoying food and drinks and naughty girl talk with the besties and others and a night out on the town.

So much to say about the last week, etc., will have to post more later, so until then, enjoy this lovely poem:


what do you do?

A recent storytime was COMMUNITY HELPERS:

“Shake Your Sillies Out,”#13, Raffi’s More Singable Songs

Rhyme/Flannel Board: “Ten Fire Fighters”

Book 1: Lola at the Library, Anna McQuinn

Rhyme: “What Do You Do?” w/pictures of each profession (see below)

Music/Movement: “The Freeze,” #10, Greg & Steve’s We All Live Together, Vol. 2

Prop Story: Kitten Red Yellow Blue, Peter Catalanotto w/die cuts of all the different colored cats

feeling undone

Comfort, Deb Talan

I am going to tell you one of the secrets of life that you won't understand for yourself until it happens to you. When someone you love dies it sticks in you forever, it is the emotional equivalent to oatmeal sticking to your ribs and your stomach and filling you up all day. I once heard of grief as something like a wave which washes over you, but they always leave out the part about how even though you kick and fight back to the shore you still find remnants of that battle: sand in your belly button and ears and the sore eyes of too much salt water.

Grief fills you with this longing that doesn't easily go away, like when you f…

just ducky

Spring means cutesie storytimes about things like bunnies and ducks--thought I would share this just ducky storytime. 
“Shake Your Sillies Out,”  #13, Raffi’s More Singable Songs Flannel Board:  “Little White Duck"
Book 1:Come Along Daisy!, Jane Simmons Prop Story: DucksLike to Swim, Agnes Verboven, Anne Westerduin w/puppets
Music/Movement: “Dance Along Gong Song,” #14 Jim Gill’s “Irrational Anthem and More Salutes to Nonsense”
Book 2: Giggle, Giggle, Quack, Doreen Cronin
Rhyme: “5 Little Ducks”
Book 3: 10 Little Rubber Ducks, Eric Carle
Music/Movement: “Can’t Wait to Celebrate,” #2 Jim Gill’s “Irrational Anthem and More Salutes to Nonsense” w/shakers

This storytime went great. The kids LOVED everything ducks, they especially loved Ducks Like to Swim!

Also, wanted to share this awesome resource: Perry, OH Public Library's storytime resource. Very helpful.

epic proportions


the marvels of daily life caught

“The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.” — Robert Doisneau
I have had Paris on the brain lately: two couples (friends of mine) have gone/are going to Paris for honeymoons this spring; I just read A Moveable Feast (Hemingway) and The Paris Wife (McLain)--both set primarily in Paris; I recently watched "Midnight in Paris" and "Forget Paris;" I've been listening to more French music in the last weeks than I ever had in my entire life...Jeanne Aubert, Edith Piaf, Jean Laurent, Julien Duvivier, Maurice Yvain, Maurice Chevalier, Charles Trenet, Jean Sablon, Emile Carrara, Guillaume de Chassy and the list goes on and on. I can't get enough of Paris' sounds and any glimpses of it. I want to go to Paris TODAY!
It was a nice treat to stumble upon Robert Dosineau today at Google--his is the featured GOOGLE background art because today would have been his 100th bday. Thought I would share s…

great find Friday

Aside from it being green to shop at thrift stores, I love shopping at thrift stores because you never know what you're going to find. For example. I love satchels. LOVE. Some people love fashion, but just give me a satchel to carry my writing and books in and I'm sound. I was bummed out when the zipper burst on my trusty old satchel some weeks back; so, what, I don't need a zipper, I thought...and then the strap snapped while I was carrying the very stuffed bag to my car the next day.

So, I made my way to the thrift store not far from my house to see if I could find anything worthwhile, and I found an actual Marino Orlandi Italian leather satchel; judging from this site (Marino Orlandi's website doesn't list prices) my guesstimate is that my satchel would cost over $400 brand new (I am taking into account that my bag is bigger than these ones pictured). This bag rocks and I've already gotten tons of compliments (the pic doesn't do it justice). I am heartin…

an adult novel

No, no, not that kind of adult novel, I am refering to J.K. Rowling's new novel geared at adults, The Casual Vacancy, which is due out in September. Described thus by Little, Brown,

"...set in a small English town called Pagford, which comes undone after one of its denizens, a man in his early 40s named Barry Fairweather, unexpectedly dies. The event shakes the town and reveals the rampant unrest bubbling under the surface in the deceptively perfect hamlet."  Full article here.

I am not sure that I will read it, as I am still fist-shaking-angry at Rowling for her damn epilogue in HP7.

shine she does!

Rosie Sprout’s Time to Shine, Allison Wortche, Patrice Barton (illus.)
Rosie Sprout has to always hear about how her classmate Violet is amazing at EVERYTHING! “She ran the fastest in gym class. She sang the highest in choir practice. She was the loudest storyteller at lunch. And she looked the fanciest on picture day…Violet was definitely the best. And everyone agreed. Except Rosie.” 
Rosie’s jealousy comes to a head when the class is growing peas and Violet’s plant is taller than hers, so she buries the sprout, but guilt kicks in when Violet is out sick with chicken pox and Rosie realizes that the right thing to do is to take care of Violet’s plant as if it were her own. This is a lovely story about facing up to your feelings of jealousy, and then doing the right thing. 
Also, I absolutely love love love Patrice Barton’s beautiful illustrations: her soft hues, her curling pea plant, the emotions of each character present in her elegant art work! Publisher’s Weekly hit the nail on th…


"My father called them seedfolks, because they were the first of our family there. I think of them when I see any of the people who started the garden on Gibb Street. They're seedfolks too." Fleischman introduces us to a Cleveland neighborhood and it’s garbage-filled-lot-turned-community-garden by way of his characters; each chapter is named after and told by a different character, what they see and feel, and how their world has changed because of the community garden. It isn’t a perfect story, it is real in that people steal from the garden and some people still throw garbage into the lot, but it is a story of hope—how the neighbors come together as first gardeners and then friends.
My only beef with the book was Fleischman’s inclusion of a chapter, “Maricela,” about a 16 pregnant girl who is praying that her baby miscarry. The word “abortion,” even comes up in this chapter, so reader beware. I am a prude by no stretch, I even think chapters like this one would be good …

for most this amazing day

I love e.e. cummings. I love that he always has something for every mood, every feeling, every emotion. I don't want to go to work today, I want to ride the wave of happiness that washed over us this weekend...still smiling as I think about my niece and the amazing gift of life. 

"i thank You God for most this amazing"
i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

--e.e. cummings

my little Easter bunny

I guess I'm prejudiced, but I think my new niece is the cat's meow--such a cutie. When my brother called to tell me she'd finally been born he said, "She looks like Dayna, but she's got your chubby cheeks."
"Just this once will I take that as a compliment," I said in reply.  My Easter present arrived early and I couldn't be happier. Happy Easter!

still burning brightly

<p><br>Fun.: We Are Young ft. Janelle Monáe (ACOUSTIC)</p>

Fun.: We Are Young ft. Janelle Monáe (ACOUSTIC)

I know I posted the official video of this last month, but I love love love this version too. This is the song of the moment; what I got stuck in my sister-in-laws head her last weeks of pregnancy; what my brother and I always wind up humming when we're together; what my best friends' two oldest requested I play over and over this weekend. Songs like this make me feel YOUNG.

Good news! My sister-in-law gave birth last night and I am about to head back to Ohio to meet the newest member of the family, my niece Savannah--my Easter present arrived early. Happy Easter all!

dark night of the soul

Can you guess where I am? Back in Michigan just 4 days after I left, this time for a 3 day weekend of rest and relaxation, no baby showers, hopefully just lots of hanging with friends and celebrating Easter. All this traveling back and forth makes me want to move back to Michigan to just save on the damn gas! Gah!

I've got some book reviews on the horizon, but until I can get those things in order, thought I would offer some lovely words on Easter from Anne Lamott--Did I mention bestie L is coming down to Cleveland next week and we're going to go see Anne Lamott lecture! I am so excited! Anne Lamott is one of our favorites.

"So in Easter — and Passover too — something that happens is that we stop. This is the 'dark night of the soul' stuff that John the Divine writes about; that in that stopping we may fall into an abyss that we have been trying to outrun since we were little children ... and the American way, I think, is to trick out the abyss so it's a …

happiness feels like this

A lovely shot in the arm this morning

So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.
When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.
They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren't saying anything, these boys.
I think if they could, they would take
each other's arm.
It's early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.
They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.
Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn't enter into this.
Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.

--Raymond Carver

Gri(n)mace and bear it

I am not sure where this came from, somewhere on the internet, if you made it THANK YOU! This made my day...this is what Tuesdays feel like, right?
Also, wanted to welcome new followers Hannah from Hannah's Adventures in Europe and LeeAnn from Bits from the Bookworm--welcome ladies! Stop by often, comment much and...well, just thanks! It's nice to share these mumblings and misadventures and this journey I call life.


I would have loved to have written and turned in this letter for many of my college jobs. Enjoyed reading this and more at Letter of Note--fun site.

June 25, 1918

Dear Barton:

You have a man in your employ that I have thought for a long time should be fired. I refer to Sherwood Anderson. He is a fellow of a good deal of ability, but for a long time I have been convinced that his heart is not in his work.

There is no question but that this man Anderson has in some ways been an ornament to our organization. His hair, for one thing being long and mussy gives an artistic carelessness to his personal appearance that somewhat impresses such men as Frank Lloyd Wright and Mr. Curtenius of Kalamazoo when they come into the office.

But Anderson is not really productive. As I have said his heart is not in his work. I think he should be fired and if you will not do the job I should like permission to fire him myself. I therefore suggest that Anderson be asked to sever his connections w…