Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reason # 431


(Salmonella virus)



cute little karate-grandson, Jase


a 6 day/night stay at Cardon Children's Hospital.

Now this

for another 10 days.

To say we've had enough of hospital in this family is an understatement.
But now it's resolving and maybe I won't be SOOOO preoccupied!

Well, I can dream....

We are counting our blessings!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Flood Books

You're looking at a "flood book."

"What's that?" you ask.

Well I was hoping someone would ask that question.

I've carried around "flood books" for years. They are the books you have with you just in case there is a flood! Now in my part of the country we don't get a lot of floods, but if we do, I AM prepared. Until then my flood book is ready for those lost little minutes ...you know... a long wait in line somewhere or while I wait for my husband at the wood store or in the micro-seconds before a class starts.

Well this "flood book" is finally finished. It took me awhile but I now know more about Melissa Gilbert than I was really ready for. I will still choose to see her as Laura on Little House on the Prairie, unless we meet someday for frozen yogurt!!

Perhaps the book should read, "More than a Prairie Tale" for it reminds us that there is a whole lot more to Melissa Gilbert than the 10 years she spent as Laura Ingalls. She certainly has a lot to write about. If I were to write a memoir I can't imagine what I would write about or if I could remember too much, but Melissa Gilbert must have some kind of memory or checked back in the tabloids to chronicle a lot of her life. She has overcome an alcohol addiction that impresses me to the max. Kudos to her for being brave enough to face her "monsters in the closet." Having watched a good friend fight this drug and alcohol battle as well, in a more private fashion, I am grateful that Melisssa Gilbert honors AA and shares her story with a courage and strength that will help give hope to others. Some of the facts I could have lived without.... but then again, I have a few of my own embarrassing moments that I choose to forget.

All in all, it was not a "tattle"-tell-all, just a remember-about. Was it the best written or quotable autobiography? No, but few are. I had my issues with a few things but all in I enjoyed reading her memoir. She's a woman it would be fun to meet and chat with, she loves her children and husband fiercely, and she could probably teach me a thing or two. It was a lot of little "flood" moments well spent getting to know Melissa Gilbert. Now if I could get her to meet me for that frozen yogurt!

PS. The next "flood book" is One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. It's on audio "playaway" - even more fun! I can't wait!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How to Write a Review - NOT!

I finally finished Mockingjay (thanks to having both a hardcover book AND the Aldiko download on my Droid X phone!) Now the quandary. How do I write a review, the way I feel about it?

Well, I know the basic steps to writing. In my third grade classroom we start like this:

And knowing all of this is not making it much easier. You see I can talk a mile a mile a minute about it, but putting pen to paper, oops - fingers to keyboard - is a tad harder. Is that because it is more permanent than thoughts? I remember when I managed a bookstore that many people expected me to be the kind of person with a book inside me just waiting to be written. They thought I was working there not because I loved books but because they thought I was a frustrated author. NO WAY!! I am a reader. I appreciate and relish a book. Nothing more. I absorb, ponder, and chew on the words of others but no adequate words seem to gel together in my mind to be put on paper.

For the most part I am content with my non-writing skills... until it's time to write my thoughts to someone, create a verse, a letter, or merely write a short review. Now I'm stuck. See my problem? Now this "review writing block" has seeped into my personal life! Egads!

My feeble attempt:

Suzanne Collins, here's my number. Call anytime. Let's have a long chat about your terrific characters, their growth, their fears and their passions. About Katniss Everdeen (I don't care what Stephen King says, I LOVE the name.) Let's talk about actions and consequences. But let's laugh a little too. I need a little bit of that after some intense time with your book; it wasn't always happy.

Shall we do lunch? Because I certainly don't want to do bedtime stories with you. Blood and guts and evil - yes, that's what war is. And your books of war are quite frankly the stuff of bad dreams and nightmares. Unfortunately they are real. War is not pretty and I am grateful that you didn't pretty it up. The Capitol did that.

I didn't like you much at times though. Characters I liked didn't get the respect I wanted and were gone in an instant - no goodbyes. How dare you?!? But, on second thought, that's life. We don't get notice that this will be goodbye or GOODBYE. We just go on.

Your ending took time. Thank you. I expected something different but in the end it feels just right. I felt like I was watching a friend who suffered PTSD. No easy answers, no overnight "get well." Thanks for being careful there. Yep, life went on. Time really can help us grow scars over our wounds. Like Katniss and her physical wounds, hearts and minds will always carry the marks of war or loss. May time be a careful healer over those griefs and losses.

You know, Suzanne (I feel we're friends now,) I'm glad Katniss made the choices she did. Gale or Peeta? That too was fine in my mind. Her reasoning resonates in me. Thanks for that. So I don't ruin it for others, just call me (remember, you have my number) and we'll talk about it a little more!

Now, that's done. My thoughts are clear in my mind. I'm ready to talk with anyone else about it too. Bring it on...after a few weeks of not wanting to hear anyone else's opinions I'm ready and waiting.

Good, now that's one thing I can check off my Saturday list!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Portrait of a Saturday morning...

Come sun-up it's me, some spray paint, a good book and some lesson planning on my Saturday agenda. My phone has become my email link, my Pandora music to plan by and my calendar. Gosh, I do believe I am acting a wee-bit techie!!! Ack. (It's only a disguise.) Later we'll throw in going to the Home Show with Rich. Yep, that should about do it.... I'm almost done with Mockingjay and have 2 new books waiting in the wings! As my students would say, "I'm in the Reading Zone!!"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor or No Labor Day

I'm grateful for a job. I'm grateful for my husband's job. We say it every time we drive into our driveway, but I can't tell you how much we love our days of!>!>! We love to rest, relax, and party!

This Labor Day we spent in "chill-mode" and I only had one thing on my agenda - a movie and popcorn!

We sat in the dollar-theater with 100's of our now nearest and dearest friends and laughed at the antics and over the top characters in this fun movie. I don't care what many of you say, I still adore Tom Cruise.The crowd seemed to like it too and we laughed as we exited at how many people were quoting lines and smiling. If they were taking an exit poll then this movie was a real hit! It sure was a fun way to spend a hot afternoon. And YES, there was popcorn.

An unexpected plus this holiday was a visit to Hobby Lobby with a corn-munching Emma....

and a witch named... Noah???!!??

(The photos were not altered in anyway. These kiddos are just as cute in person as they are on film!)

Gracie was checking out all the pink stuff and must have been camera-shy. We stopped at Cold Stone for ice cream and sprinkles and then, because we were low on sugar, we dashed into Paradise bakery for Lemon cookies. Yum. It's a good thing those cuties don't frequent my house all the time. I would really be the BIG Moma!!

The holiday was so much fun, I think I need another....

PS...I'm half way through with Mockingjay. I am ignoring any blogs about it until I finish. With school and classes that is taking longer, but I love falling right into the "reading zone" with this book!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Coming Up for Air!

Can life get busier???

Everybody say, "Yes."

Yikes! I know that there are crazier days, schedules and people with busier lives than little ol' me, but for this mere mortal, there's just so much going on now that when I sit down to do more than read my email, I fall asleep.

School started off with a bang. No one wet their pants or threw up on me, and that included ME!!! Third Grade! Wow, I can hardly believe I grew up. So many of my former students come by and can't believe that I'm not in my old room. I've walked there only once but I check the wrong mailbox all the time. Life has me trying to stay at least a day ahead of 3rd graders..... Now, that's no small task! New curriculum, new classroom, and new responsibilities with 30 new little bodies. I marvel at how smart they are!!!

Rich and I are attending Financial Peace University weekly for the next 13 weeks, I have weekly (okay, almost nightly) professional development classes, and I even managed to squeeze in Back to School Night and Book Group on the same night. (I didn't make it all the way through the book, but I tried hard! I will finish it - - ) I'm getting to be quite a pro at using the calendar feature on my Smartphone!!

I daily will ask myself:
  • Am I laughing?
  • What crazy, hectic part of this life will I miss one day?
  • What funny memories can I write down when it is time?
The coming weeks look even busier so I am more than happy to be coming up for a breath this weekend. Labor Day came just in time for me to feed my popcorn for dinner addiction and stay in bed reading this.....