Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November is Picture Book Month

You know what picture book series I love? It's the Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney. Have you read "Llama, Llama Red Pajama'?  The expressions in the illustrations are just perfect.  The one I really love is "Llama Llama Mad at Momma". What mother of a preschooler can't identify with this book?  My kids are teens, so we are way beyond the picture book stage.  Luckily, I work in a library so it doesn't seem too odd when I pick up a picture book and start reading.  This series is sure to put a smile on my face and brighten my day.  For whatever reason, the main library did not order our branch a copy of "Llama Llama Holiday Drama".  I think I will have to buy a copy and donate it.

By the way, even though I sell used books, this is not an advertisement for books in my booth.  I truly love this series, and unfortunately have none of these to sell.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Picture Books Worth Reading

Our library processed some new picture books yesterday, and I read two that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Both had wonderful messages and illustrations, although the styles were very different. 

The first book is "Otis and the Tornado" written and illustrated by Loren Long.  This is the second Otis book that she has written, and it is a story of friendship, perseverance and bravery.  It is an exciting tale with wonderful illustrations that capture the audience.

The second book is "The Big Test" by Julie Danneburg and illustrated by Judy Love.  The teacher is preparing her class for "The Big Test".  The expressions on the faces of the students capture the stress and anxious feelings that the class has as the day of the Big Test approaches.  It brought back memories of having those dreaded "Iowa Tests" when I was in elementary school.  It also reminded me about how different my children were when the Big Test Day approached. One was worried about how she would do, and the other was happy because no homework would be assigned that week.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

I just finished Kristin Hannah's newest novel, "Night Road".  She is one of my favorite authors because she writes about families and relationships without being too sappy. The focus of this novel is Senior Year and the family experiences that result.  The concerned, worrying mom (some would call her a helicopter mom) identifies so many issues that occur for parents of kids in their senior year of high school.  Of course, kids think they are invincible and want to celebrate their senior year.  As a parent currently experiencing senior year and a child turning18 (I'm an adult now, Mom.), I can identify with the characters in this book.

My favorite book by Kristin Hannah is "Firefly Lane".  I just couldn't put that one down.  Perhaps it was because so much of it took place during the 1970's .She kept jogging my memory about little details I had forgotten.  Or, it brought back warm and fuzzy memories.  Scooter pies, banana seat bikes, that kind of thing.  I think I will read that one again now that I am thinking about it.

The novel I am reading now is "Brewster" which is a young adult novel.  I am enjoying it because I have a "wanna be" author in the family, and her writing style is very similar to this author.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

So, I have some free time and I am trying to watch the latest Harry Potter movie on DVD with the family.  I have yet to be able to stay awake during one, and I am not even sure if I saw the last movie, so I asked my daughter to get me caught up.  She said to summarize the last movie, Voldemort killed Dumbledore and now all hell has broken loose.  That's all I needed to know.

Really?  Seven years or so of all this and it could be summarized in one sentance? 

I am at the computer trying to keep my self upright so I don't fall asleep, but I already have no clue why Harry and Ron are in someone elses bodies.  Oh, well.   In the name of team spirit I will try to follow along.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tax Season is Almost Done

Ok, so I balanced out the stock splits, reverse stock splits, mergers, acquisitions, and more.  Ever since I left my job 18 years ago to be a SAHM, I have felt like my brain cells have been slowly deteriorating.  In the beginning, I stayed involved by volunteering to be treasurer of this board and that club, but I eventually stopped.  When I went back to work, I decided to work towards my dream job of being a librarian.  I am addicted to books-especially children's books.

However, with the economy as it is, there is no longer an opportunity for tuition reimburesement, and I have 2 kiddos to get through college. So, it looks like a masters in library science is not going to happen for me at this point. 

As I worked on my taxes, it was good to know that there are still some active brain cells up there. It turned out to be a rewarding job with a sense of accomplishment.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Why Oh Why Do I Procrastinate??????

I know better, I really do!! But I can't stop myself no matter how many New Years Resolutions I make.  What has happened to me??? My husband kept telling me about all of the changes taking place in our Employee Stock Purchase Plans as the company split up, then was sold, then merged.  SO her I am 4/15 deciphering stock splits, reverse stock splits, stock in the parent company, and who knows what els? I am up to 2002. 

I just kept okaying him thinking I would deal with it when the time came....or better yet, maybe we would take the stock to the grave and my kids would have to deal with it. 

No such luck.....We decided to sell it last year (at a loss, thank you very much).. So now I am back tracking to 1997.  Have I learned my lesson?? Probably not.  Do I need a Dr. Phil intervention??  Not if it means living in the Dr. Phil House with those wacko women that I love some days and get disgusted with the next. 

Will I continue to lecture by daughter (we call her my clone) about procrastinating?? Yes. 

I want her to be better than me. 

I hope it works :(

Calling all Chocoholics!

This is  a recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls that a friend gave to me about 25 years ago!  My teenage daughter uses it every year either for Valentine's Day, Birthdays or Christmas.  She makes them for her current boyfriend since it can be so difficult to buy presents for guys.  They make the boyfriend feel so special because they are handmade, decadent treats.  Shhhh.......We won't tell  that she makes them for every boyfriend she has ever had!!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Mix together until smooth:
18 oz. Super Chunk Peanut Butter
1 lb Confectioners Sugar
1/4 lb margerine
1tsp. Vanilla

Form into balls

Melt together until shiny and smooth

2 12 oz pkg  semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp oil

Dip peanut butter balls in the chocolate and put on wax paper.

We usually cut the recipe in half and put in about an extra 1/4 cup of  peanut butter.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Do you have a filter?

Do you have a filter?  Do you stop,  think, and edit what you are going to say before you say it, or do you say whatever comes to mind?

My mom is the youngest of 6 siblings, with her closest sibling being 5 years older.  My mom is now 85.  When we were younger, we used to refer to our aunt as crazy Aunt Gracie because she had no filter, and it was more evident the older she became.  Now my mom is reminding me so  much of her sister, and I think I am going to be next!  When  we go anywhere in public, I know it is going to be an adventure.  Girls with pink hair, shorts and jeans with holes in them--and, to her amazement, they were purchased that way-lol.  Add to it that she has dementia, and can't remember what she said 2 minutes ago, and it is such a hoot!  She is on meds for her dementia which she thinks are working wonderfully!! Of course she does!  Since she can't remember what she said 2 minutes ago, she doesn't realize she already said it,  which means she doesn't know what she forgot.  So of course, to her, the meds are great!  

A trip to the mall is an adventure.  If people are using their bluetooth, she will give a hand to the head motion saying that they are crazy.  She thinks all of these people are walking around the mall talking to themselves.  I explain that they are on the phone, but it doesn't stick.  She must be amazed at how many crazy people are walking around in the world today. 

Have to go to work.  Lots of crazy people at the library.  We see the bluetooth in use all day long.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Come on Spring!

Last Thursday, they were predicting 2-4 inches of snow.  So happy the "meteorologists" were wrong.  On Saturday, I took my youngest to practice mounted games with her new  team.  On Sunday, I took both kids to a Mounted Games competition.  They competed as a pair and took first place. It was great to be outdoors two days.  Took both boxers with us.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Young Adult Books

I am finding that when I am incredibly busy, I need shorter, simpler books to read.  Sometimes I don't have the time to read for days, so I need a book that I can put down then pick up and not have to refresh my memory on the story line.  Middle age memory loss has set in.  I just recently finished a book about mountain  climbing which was ok.  It was called "A Mighty Wall".

One of my favorite Young Adult books is "Norh of Beautiful".  It is about a teenage girl who has a port wine birthmark on her face and how it has affected her life and relationships.  It is about teens accepting themselves for who they are.  I gave this book to my teen daughter to read mainly because she was becoming so obsessed with beauty and her looks.  However.....she also stutters.  She loved the book and it really did help her to come to terms with her stuttering.  In her last two years of high school, she has taken a turn for the better and accepted herself for who she is.  She even tried out for the school musical and was thrilled to get a part in the chorus!  She has blossomed so much this year, and I can't wait to see her grow even more as she enters college.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Have You Read a Good Book Lately?

So, what do you like to read?  Are there certain genres that you stick with?  Certain authors that you can't get enough of? 

By far, the best book that I read in  years is "The Help" by Katherine Stockett-her debut novel.  This book grabbed me from the first page which is very unusual  for me- in fact, I can't remember the last time that happened.  I am also the type of reader that when the dialog becomes mundane or there is too much description, I skim the pages until I get to something worthwhile.  I didn't find myself doing that at all while reading this book.

"The Help"  is about the complicated and heart wrenching relationships between African-American maids  and the white families, especially the women, who employed them in pre-civil rights Mississippi.  The author grew up in Mississippi, and some of the characters are based upon people she knew.  Being a Northerner, I kept wondering throughout the book if it was still that way in Mississippi.  I can remember as recent as 1990 how aware I was prejudice, segregation, bigotry when I vacationed in Hilton Head, SC.  At that time, every restaurant that we patronized had only white servers, and all of the busboys were African American. The only exception was one small family restaurant that was owned by an African American family.  The only white worker was the hostess.  Fast forward to 2006 when we returned to vacation and that had changed.  Servers and busboys were both white and black as well as the hostesses.  This book definitely had me thinking and evaluating life as I knew it in the US as compared with life others were experienced to in the US.
Many of you have probably already read it--it has been on the NY Times bestseller list for 101 weeks!  What was your immpression of the book?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reading to the Beginning Reader

I had a mom come into the library this week asking what chapter books were recommended to read to her 6 year old daughter who was just beginning to read.  I recommended the Magic Tree House series, A to Z Mysteries, and some of Ben Baglio's books. The teacher had recommended Junie B. Jones.  I have found that some parents are opposed to Junie B. because of her grammar, so I mentioned that to the mom as well as telling her how laugh out loud funny they are.  I told her that when I used to read them to my daughters, it was an opportunity to discuss grammar. She chose one of each and one of the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary, too.

Does anybody have any favorites that they read to their emerging readers?