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scaifea's thread #13

This is a continuation of the topic scaifea's thread #12.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Today, 12:14pm Top

Hi, everyone! Welcome to Thread XIII!

Art inspired in one way or another by some of my current reads:

The Full Cupboard of Life:

Emil and the Detectives:


War and Peace:

Tales from Shakespeare:


Five Little Pigs:

The Thief:

From the Introductions Thread:
I'm Amber, a one-time Classics professor turned stay-at-home parent/lady of leisure. I spend my time sewing, knitting, baking, volunteering at my son's school library and with the PTO, and, of course, reading.

My reading life is happily governed by lists, which means that I read a healthy variety of things across various genres.

I'm 41 going on 12 and live in Wisconsin with my husband, Tomm; our 8-year-old son, Charlie; and our two dogs, Tuppence the Border Collie and Mario the Golden Retriever.

Edited: May 16, 10:22am Top

The five-ish or so books I have going and the On Deck books nearly all come from the following categories and lists:

1. A book from the 100 Banned Books book (at least currently. As soon as I finish this list, I'll replace it with another, and oh, I've got tons of lists).

2. A children's book, for Charlie's library. I'm trying to collect books from various award lists, and I like reading them before reading them to Charlie or deciding to add them to Charlie's shelves. For this category, I’m currently working through three lists:
a. 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Die
b. The Newbery Honor books
c. Cooperative Children's Book Center list

3. A book from the Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List, in chronological order.

4. A book for the Presidential Challenge. Books for this category are read in chronological (presidentially) order.

5. A list I'm working through together with my best friend, Rob: The Hugo/Nebula/WFA/Bram Stoker (and other) lists (combined, in chronological order)

6. For this category, I cycle through 7 different stacks:
a. Agatha Christie's bibliography (in chronological order)
b. Stephen Fry's bibliography (in chronological order)
c. John Boyne bibliography (in chronological order, sort of)
d. Neil Gaiman's bibliography (in some order other than chronological (don't
e. Christopher Moore's bibliography (in chronological order)
f. The NEH Timeless Classics list
g. The National Book Award list (in alpha order by title)
h. The Pulitzer list (in alpha order by author)

7. An unread book from my shelves.

8. A book from my Read Soon! shelves.

9. A book on Buddhism or from the Dalai Lama's bibliography.

10. Book-a-year challenge: Three years ago, along with a few others in this group (*cough* Paul *cough*), I made a year-by-year list to see how far I could go back with consecutive reads. I've since been trying to fill in the gap years.

11. A book from the couple of series that I'm reading together with my mom.

12. A full-on re-read through Shakespeare's stuff.

13. A read-aloud-to-Charlie-at-bedtime book (or two).

14. An audio book, which I listen to as I knit/sew/otherwise craft/drive.

15. A Discworld book (so many of these are coming up soon on various lists, so I'm just diving into it)

16. This slot is reserved for books that just grab me and shout that they need to be read Right Now.

And on top of these, there will be a multitude of picture books and easy readers, which Charlie and I read together. I've decided again this year also to list our re-reads, but I'll just list them each day and not number them.

Edited: Today, 12:14pm Top

What I'm reading now:
-The Full Cupboard of Life (series that my mom wants me to read so we can chat about it)
-(awaiting library holds) (1001 Children's Books)
-Malevil (Campbell award)
-War and Peace (because Charlie wants me to)
-Tales from Shakespeare (Charlie's bed-time book)
-Ida B (Charlie's book club read)
-Sourcery (Discworld read)
-Five Little Pigs (audiobook, Christie bibliography)
-The Thief (re-read because the latest in the series just came out and I LOVE THESE BOOKS)

Books On Deck:
-The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare re-read)
-Andersonville (Banned Books)
-The Gods of Pegana (The Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy)
-The Worst President: The Story of James Buchanan (Presidential Challenge)
-Murder in Mesopotamia (Christie bibliography)
-House of Leaves (unread book from my shelves)
-The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (from my Read Soon shelves)
-Essential Teachings (Buddhist readings)
-Crime and Punishment (Books by Year, 1866)

In addition to these, I have some classics-related texts that I'm working through (VERY slowly (read: I haven't touched them in months)):
-Asinaria by Plautus (reading in Latin)
-Iliad by Homer (reading in Greek)
-Latin Literature by Gian Biagio Conte
-The Cambridge History of Classical Literature Volume 1 Part 1

Edited: Today, 11:13am Top

Books Read

1. James and the Giant Peach (Charlie's bedtime read) - 9/10 = A
2. The Inverted World (BFSA) - 9/10 = A
3. The Cat Who Went to Heaven (Charlie's book club book) - 9/10 = A-
4. Don Quixote (from my unread shelves) 0 8/10 = B+
5. The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian (from my classics shelves) - 8/10 = B+
6. Prairie Tale (from my Read Soon shelves) - 7/10 = C+
7. A Bear Called Paddington (Charlie's bedtime read) - 10/10 = A+
8. The Dolphin Crossing (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B
9. The Year of the Book (a book I picked off the shelves while volunteering at Charlie's school library) - 9/10 = A-

10. The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Newbery Medal) - 10/10 = A+
11. Anna & Elsa: All Hail the Queen (Charlie book) - 8/10 = B
12. The Popularity Papers (#3) (Frequently Challenged Children's Books) = 8/10 = B+
13. The Hollow Hills (Mythopoeic) - 8/10 = B+
14. The Odyssey (audiobook in the car) - 10/10 = A+
15. Herobrine Scared Stiff (Charlie's read-aloud) - 7/10 = C-
16. Drama (Frequently Challenged Children's Books) - 9/10 = A
17. Where the Lilies Bloom (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B
18. More About Paddington (Charlie's bedtime read) - 9/10 = A
19. When the Sea Turned to Silver (Westview library book) - 9/10 = A
20. Ghosts (Westview library book) - 8/10 = B+
21. The Inquisitor's Tale (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-
22. Wolf Hollow (Newbery Honor Book) - 10/10 = A+
23. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie's book club read) - 10/10 = A+
24. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books/audiobook) - 9/10 = A

25. Ollie's Odyssey (Charlie's bedtime read) - 10/10 = A
26. Gandhi, Fighter without a Sword (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
27. Sing Down the Moon (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
28. The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me (Charlie's bedtime read) - 9/10 = A
29. Esio Trot (Charlie's bedtime read) - 8/10 = A-
30. The Perilous Gard (Newbery Honor Book) - 9/10 = A
31. Paddington Helps Out (Charlie's bedtime read) - 9/10 = A
32. The Colour of Magic (Discworld series) - 8/10 = B+
33. The Stolen Child (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy list) - 8/10 = B+
34. Leviathan (Locus YA) - 8/10 = B-
35. Herobrine Saves Christmas (Charlie's bedtime read-aloud book) - 7/10 = C
36. Vaino, a Boy of New Finland (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-
37. Floating Island (Newbery Honor Book) - 7/10 = C
38. The Nargun and the Stars (1001 Children's Books) - 9/10 = A
39. Dog Man Unleashed (Charlie read-aloud) - 8/10 = B+

40. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Charlie's bedtime read) - 9/10 = A
41. Moccasin Trail (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
42. The Paul Street Boys (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C+
43. The Peppermint Pig (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+
44. Mr. Pants: Camping Catastrophe! (Charlie's read-aloud book) - 10/10 = A+
45. Paddington Abroad (Charlie's bedtime read) - 9/10 = A
46. Dark Star of Itza (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-
47. Dragonsong (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+
48. All Alone (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
49. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (Charlie's book club read) - 9/10 = A
50. The Light Fantastic (Discworld series) - 8/10 = B+
51. Wildwood Dancing (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy list) - 9/10 = A
52. Creepers (Bram Stoker Award/Audiobook) - 7/10 = C
53. Henry Huggins (Charlie's bedtime read) - 9/10 = A
54. The Complete Sherlock Holmes (started as a 1001 Children's Books read (one of the novels) and spiraled from there) - 10/10 = A+
55. The Neverending Story (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+
56. Ship Breaker (audiobook, Locus YA Award) - 8/10 = B+
57. Meggy MacIntoch (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
58. Equal Rites (Discworld) - 8/10 = B+

59. Shadrach (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-
60. Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Disgusting Sneakers (Charlie's school library book) - 9/10 = A
61. The Freedom Maze (audiobook, Andre Norton Award) - 8/10 = B+
62. Homecoming (1001 Children's Books) - 9/10 = A
63. Old Path White Clouds (Buddhist reading list) - 8/10 = B+
64. Poems That Make Grown Women Cry (Goodreads Giveaway) - 9/10 = A
65. The Young Visiters (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C
66. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (audiobook/Christie bibliography) - 8/10 = B+
67. Paddington at Large (Charlie's bedtime read) - 10/10 = A
68. Mort (Discworld series) - 8/10 = B+
69. Hrolf Kraki's Saga (BFS Award) - 9/10 = A-
70. The Body in the Library (audiobook/Christie bibliography) - 8/10 = B+
71. Minecraft Construction Handbook (Charlie's bedtime read-aloud, 95 pages) - 8/10 = B
72. Garram the Hunter (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
73. The Island on Bird Street (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+
74. The Fairy-Tale Detectives (Charlie's book club read) - 8/10= B
75. A Lear of the Steppes (Books by Year, 1870) - 7/10 = C
76. Henry and Beezus (Charlie's bedtime read) - 8/10 = B+
77. Banner in the Sky (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
78. Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids (because I wanted to) - 8/10 = B-
79. Emil and the Detectives (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+
80. Norse Mythology (audiobook, Gaiman bibliography) - 10/10 = A

Edited: May 16, 10:32am Top

The Charlie, Mario & Tuppence Toppers:

Charlie goofing with Tomm (just off camera, with hose) last weekend whilst washing our cars:



Edited: May 16, 10:36am Top

And the Bonus Question:

I've been thinking of this one since finishing Poems That Make Grown Women Cry: Please to share your favorite poem, or a poem that give you all the feels. I'll share the two most powerful poems (for me) I've read:

Robert Frost's Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Catullus 85
Odi et amo quare id faciam fortasse requiris.
nescio sed fieri sentio et excrucior.

I hate and I love. Why do I do this, perhaps you ask.
I don't know, but I feel that it happens and I am tortured.

May 16, 10:31am Top

Is it safe? Am I the first? I'm never the first. Happy new thread, Amber.

>2 scaifea: Book lists are great.

May 16, 10:32am Top

Happy new thread!

May 16, 10:37am Top

>6 scaifea: Hi, Beth. Yep, you're first!
And thanks for the book list love. I do love a good list of books, it seems.

>7 BLBera: Thanks, Jim!

May 16, 10:43am Top

Happy new one, Amber.

May 16, 10:51am Top

Happy new one, Amber.

I like melancholy poems....

When You Are Old
W.B. Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

and also:

Funeral Blues, or Stop All the Clocks
W.H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

May 16, 10:55am Top

>10 RebaRelishesReading:: Hi, Reba!

>11 katiekrug: Katie: Both of those poems are included in Poems That Make Grown Women Cry, so well done! Ha!

May 16, 11:01am Top

Happy new thread!!

May 16, 11:21am Top

Happy New Thread, Amber!

>11 katiekrug: Two of my favorite poems ever.

May 16, 11:22am Top

What an excellent photo of Charlie! (Also, I know both those dog looks well, though especially the one Mario is pulling. Thursday does that over the back of the couch looking out the window whenever she thinks she is unfairly being kept inside (that would be anytime she is inside, basically).)

Fav poem (it gains that position almost exclusively for the first sentence, but I do enjoy the whole thing):

"Heaven on Earth" by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

Heaven on Earth

I saw Jesus at the bowling alley,
slinging nothing but gutter balls.
He said, "You've gotta love a hobby
that allows ugly shoes."
He lit a cigarette and bought me a beer.
So I invited him to dinner.

I knew the Lord couldn't see my house
in its current condition, so I gave it an out
of season spring cleaning. What to serve
for dinner? Fish—the logical
choice, but after 2000 years, he must grow weary
of everyone's favorite seafood dishes.
I thought of my Granny's ham with Coca Cola
glaze, but you can't serve that to a Jewish
boy. Likewise pizza—all my favorite
toppings involve pork.

In the end, I made us an all-dessert buffet.
We played Scrabble and Uno and Yahtzee
and listened to Bill Monroe.
Jesus has a healthy appetite for sweets,
I'm happy to report. He told strange
stories which I've puzzled over for days now.

We've got an appointment for golf on Wednesday.
Ordinarily I don't play, and certainly not in this humidity.
But the Lord says he knows a grand miniature
golf course with fiberglass mermaids and working windmills
and the best homemade ice cream you ever tasted.
Sounds like Heaven to me.

I only know about it because of The Writer's Almanac.

May 16, 11:43am Top

>13 Berly: Hi, Kim! Oh, that's a lovely one.

>14 jnwelch: Joe: They're good ones, no?

>15 lycomayflower: Laura: Yes, this laying on the back of the couch thing was cute when she was little, but now she's ginormous and still does it. It is comforting when you're sitting there, though, and get an occasionally snuggle or cheek-licking.

And I've never read that poem before; it's funny that it's the first line that does it for you - for me, that last line is the kicker.

May 16, 11:51am Top

Happy new thread, Amber!

May 16, 11:56am Top

Happy new thread, Amber.

>6 scaifea: Not fair in that it is almost impossible for me to choose just 1. Yeats, Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Manley-Hopkins and Hughes all forgive me as I must put up Rudyard Kipling's wonderful "If"

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Of course if I am being utterly honest my favourite poem is the next one I am working on myself but I won't be contrary and put that up here or one of my limericks about a certain Wisconsin classicist!

May 16, 12:16pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber!

I recently finished reading the Dutch translation of the poems by Han Shan (Cold Mountain), I found some in English translation online, like these:

Though face and form alter with the years,
I hold fast to the pearl of my mind.
All the people in the Kuo-ch’ing monastery
They say, “Han-shan is an idiot.”
“Am I really an idiot:” I reflect.
But my reflections fail to solve the question:
for I myself do not know who the self is
And how can others know who I am?
The hermit escapes the human world
and likes to sleep on mountains
among green widely-spaced vines
where clear torrents sing harmonies.
He steams with joy,
swinging at ease through freedom,
not stained with worldly affairs,
heart clean as a white lotus.

Edited: May 16, 1:00pm Top

Happy New Thread, Amber!

I'm also going to share two poems that are my long-time favorites. The first is by Dylan Thomas and the second by e. e. cummings.

Fern Hill

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden
Follow him out of grace,

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

Dylan Thomas

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

May 16, 12:56pm Top

>17 kidzdoc: Hi, Darryl!

>18 PaulCranswick: Paul: That *is* a good one, friend, although I am, of course, partial to that particularly-mentioned limerick...

>19 FAMeulstee: Anita: I'd never heard of Han Shan before - that poem is lovely!

May 16, 12:57pm Top

>20 ronincats: Roni: It's funny you should pick Thomas (one of my favorite poets) and cummings (one of my least favorites). Ha!

May 16, 2:18pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber. I'm not a huge poetry fan (despite the efforts of many English lit courses) so I don't have any I really, really love. That said, I did enjoy (and wrote a kickass paper in undergrad) on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

May 16, 2:20pm Top

>21 scaifea: Last year Joe mentioned him last year and wrote a marvelous review about Cold Mountain: 100 Poems by the T'ang poet Han-Shan. At Joe's tread it is listed under his favorite poetry from 2016.
Then I searched for a Dutch translation and was impessed.

May 16, 2:52pm Top

I love Funeral Blues in >11 katiekrug: but have trouble reading it because I'm reminded of John Hannah reciting it and Four Weddings and a Funeral and it makes me tear up.

William Blake's "The Tyger" is a perennial favourite of mine (it's supposedly the most anthologized poem in the world). I love the rhythm of it and how it seems to speed up as you read it.

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies,
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

But while there are a great many beautiful serious or sad poems that I love dearly, my absolute favourite is the funny and rather cheeky "Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom" by the amazing and inimitable Dorothy Parker:

Daily dawns another day;
I must up, to make my way.
Though I dress and drink and eat,
Move my fingers and my feet,
Learn a little, here and there,
Weep and laugh and sweat and swear,
Hear a song, or watch a stage,
Leave some words upon a page,
Claim a foe, or hail a friend-
Bed awaits me at the end.

Though I go in pride and strength,
I'll come back to bed at length.
Though I walk in blinded woe,
Back to bed I'm bound to go.
High my heart, or bowed my head,
All my days but lead to bed.
Up, and out, and on; and then
Ever back to bed again,
Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall-
I'm a fool to rise at all!

This is one of very few poems I genuinely know by heart and could recite if you woke me up at three in the morning. When life is a bit crap, I recite it to myself.

May 16, 3:02pm Top

>18 PaulCranswick: Aw, that's such a beautiful poem! Love Kipling.

May 16, 3:55pm Top

Hi Amber, happy new thread my dear and great thread topper. Love the photo of Charlie goofing with Tomm, reminds me of Rob when he helped wash the car with me, can't believe that is 25 years since that happened with Rob and me.

Hope you are having a good start to the week my dear, sending love and hugs dear friend.

May 16, 4:02pm Top

Hi Amber. I'm making my usual quick visit before your thread gets out of hand.
I'm also checking in on my three favorite toppers. The photo of Charlie is a crack-up. It hasn't been warm enough here yet for such activity. It looks like fun!

Loving all the poetry and Kim's addition of an ancient Chinese proverb.

I hope you're having a great week, Amber!

May 16, 4:39pm Top

>23 MickyFine: Micky: That's one of my mom's favorites - I think she still remembers big chunks of it, having memorized it in school.

>24 FAMeulstee: Anita: Yoicks. Clearly I need to pay more attention in the Café!

>25 PawsforThought: Paws: Oh, I do love a good William Blake poem; Charlie has a collection on his shelves, too.

>27 johnsimpson: Hi, John! Charlie absolutely loves washing the cars, which is mostly goofing for him, I think.

>28 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen! I got a really good one of both Charlie and Tomm in the midst of a heavy water battle, but alas, Tomm doesn't like me sharing photos of his own self, so I went with this one. Still a pretty good one, though.

I'm loving the poetry, too, and am quite pleased with my choice of bonus question, if I do say so.

Edited: May 16, 5:12pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber! I'm not a huge reader of poetry, but I do enjoy it when I read it, and so I have some favorites that it's hard to choose between. I like several of the ones above. I also thought about Frost's "After Apple-Picking" (so long, though), and Donne's "Death, be not proud." But I decided to go with a newer favorite, which I find both funny and poignant:

by Billy Collins

You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine...
-Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.

May 16, 9:05pm Top

>30 foggidawn: foggi: Oh, interesting one. And thanks for reminding me of Donne, for whom I have a big soft spot. I particularly love this one of his:

The Flea
Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is;
It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;
Thou know’st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead,
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pampered swells with one blood made of two,
And this, alas, is more than we would do.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, nay more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;
Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met,
And cloistered in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me,
Let not to that, self-murder added be,
And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?
Yet thou triumph’st, and say'st that thou
Find’st not thy self, nor me the weaker now;
’Tis true; then learn how false, fears be:
Just so much honor, when thou yield’st to me,
Will waste, as this flea’s death took life from thee.

May 16, 9:38pm Top

Happy New Thread, Amber. Popular day to start a new one, eh?

I thought The Flea poem was about me, at first...but it isn't. Sighs...

May 17, 6:33am Top

>32 msf59: Morning, Mark! *snork!* I'm sorry to have startled you with the Donne!

May 17, 6:37am Top

On the agenda for today:
Writing, sewing, menu-planning, grocery-listing, and a bit of grocery shopping. There's a PTO meeting tonight, but I'm strongly leaning towards skipping it.

On the reading front:
I listened to more of Norse Mythology and read more of Garram the Hunter and War and Peace.

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "The Caldecott and Newbery Honor Books were called Runners-up until 1977 when officials decided that the term didn't give enough credit to the excellence of books that were finalists in consideration for the top awards."

May 17, 6:42am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-Egg by Kevin Henkes (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B
And of bit of:
-The Fairy-Tale Detectives

And Charlie finished reading aloud:
71. Minecraft Construction Handbook by Matthew Needler (Charlie's bedtime read-aloud, 95 pages) - 8/10 = B

And we watched The Minions last night again. Those little guys are so adorable.

May 17, 7:08am Top

Morning, Amber! I overslept today! What?? This couldn't be tomorrow, on my day off? I least I still have plenty of time to get to work. Whew!

May 17, 7:53am Top

>36 msf59: Morning, Mark! Oh gosh, oversleeping! I'm glad you'll make it to work on time!

May 17, 7:55am Top

Hey Amber. Which libraries are you planning on visiting this summer? Or is it more a 'as the mood takes you' kind of thing?

May 17, 8:05am Top

>38 charl08: Our local library is part of a consortium of public libraries in southwest Wisconsin, from which one can request materials. Charlie and I have made extensive use of this system, and so last summer we decided to start taking little day trips to visit them all, packing a picnic lunch, finding a little park in each town to eat it in, and then polishing off the trip with a search for local sweets (ice cream stands, essentially). We only visited a couple last summer (we had the idea late in the vacation), but we're really looking forward to squeezing more in this summer.

May 17, 8:26am Top

Happy almost new thread!

>39 scaifea: That sounds lovely! Enjoy!

May 17, 8:43am Top

Morning, Amber!

>31 scaifea:, >32 msf59: I love both of these. That Billy Collins one always cracks me up, and "The Flea" was the one that started me realizing Donne wasn't some dusty, pedantic, religious poet when I was young.

Edited: May 17, 9:36am Top

>40 rretzler: Thanks, Robin! We had so much fun with the couple of trips we managed last summer - I'm really looking forward to it.

>41 jnwelch: Morning, Joe!

I've loved Donne since I was an undergrad English major and discovered him in a lit course. This is one of the first of his poems that I read, and so I knew from the beginning that he was a bit of a perv. One of the things I love most about him, really.

I mentioned earlier that I'm not a huge e.e. cummings fan, but I have to say that I do love this one:

May I Feel Said He

may i feel said he
(i'll squeal said she
just once said he)
it's fun said she
(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she
(let's go said he
not too far said she
what's too far said he
where you are said she)
may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she
may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you're willing said he
(but you're killing said she
but it's life said he
but your wife said she
now said he)
ow said she
(tiptop said he
don't stop said she
oh no said he)
go slow said she
(cccome?said he
ummm said she)
you're divine! said he
(you are Mine said she)

And there's this recording of it, too (Tom Hiddleston reading such a poem? YES, PLEASE):


May 17, 10:41am Top

>39 scaifea: Oh, that's a neat idea! And there's lots of potential for finding out of the way places for return visits.

May 17, 10:47am Top

>43 drneutron: Jim: Agreed! And there are so many little towns scattered around this area; it's a fun day-trip adventure.

Edited: May 17, 2:07pm Top

Hi, Amber! Happy new thread!

As for your bonus question, it's impossible to name a favorite poem. I grew up reading Longfellow, Tennyson, Poe, Frost and children's poems of, among others, James Whitcomb Riley. In early adulthood, I "discovered" the romantic poets cummings (whose poems I confess to liking much more than Amber), Swinburne, Browning, Barrett, and Rossetti. Later I grew to appreciate the wit of Wilde and Eliot, the depth of Neruda, and the joys of haiku. Now, in my old age, I'm back to Riley. His most famous is:

Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley (Originally published: November 15, 1885)

Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other childern, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
Ef you

Onc’t they was a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,--
So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wasn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found was thist his pants an’ roundabout--
An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
Ef you

An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’one, an’ all her blood an’ kin;
An’ onc’t, when they was “company," an’ ole folks was there,
She mocked ‘em an’ shocked ‘em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They was two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
Ef you

An’ little Orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
You better mind yer parents, an’ yer teachers fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns’ll git you
Ef you

ETA Touchstone.

May 17, 2:17pm Top

>42 scaifea: I'm like you with e.e. cummings (the cuteness wears thin for me), but that one is a lot of fun. I'd never read it before, either. I do like Tom Hiddleston (we're watching The Night Manager these days), so I may circle back for that.

>45 Storeetllr: That's a fun one from Mary I'd also never heard before.

May 17, 2:26pm Top

>46 jnwelch: Riley was a Hoosier poet, Joe. Reading his poems takes me back to childhood visits to my Indiana relatives' farms, though they had electricity rather than depending on oil lamps or light. :)

May 17, 3:22pm Top

>45 Storeetllr: >47 Storeetllr: Mary: Funny that you mention his Hoosier status, as that particular poem is one of my mom's very favorites (and we're Hoosiers ourselves, of course) - apparently *her* mom had it by heart and recited it to her (my mom) when she was little.

>46 jnwelch: Joe: Yes, the punctuation gag makes me want to grind my teeth after a very short while. But do give the Hiddleston recording a listen; it's glorious, and the room always seems to get a bit warmer...

May 17, 3:52pm Top

>48 scaifea: Done. He is good - made me laugh.

May 17, 4:48pm Top

>49 jnwelch: Joe: Laugh, yes that's the reaction I have, also... *ahem*

*fans herself*

May 17, 6:20pm Top

LOL! I imagine Madame MBH and your BFF would have the same reaction. I wonder what it would sound like with Helen Mirren reading it? :-)

May 17, 8:58pm Top

>51 jnwelch: Joe: Oh, Helen Mirren! She would be excellent!

May 17, 9:16pm Top

>42 scaifea: *fanning myself too*

>45 Storeetllr: Here's an audio of Riley reciting his poem. The animation is a bit offputting. Otherwise, lots of fun!

Edited: May 17, 10:11pm Top

Prominent in my hight school curriculum were If, as mentioned by Paul above, and Invictus, of which I can still recite the final stanza:

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

But the third poem I should mention in addition to the two in my previous message (#20) is another where I have the first and last stanzas (which are the same) by heart:

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Did anyone else grow up with the Childcraft books in their home. The first two books were all poems, from Mother Goose to Hiawatha and The Highwayman.

May 17, 11:35pm Top

>53 Storeetllr: Mary: I know, right? He could make anything sound sexy, but that poem? Ooof.
And thanks for the link!

>54 ronincats: Roni: One of my boyfriends from high school (who evolved into my very best friend, and still is) could then (and now) recite the Jabberwocky completely and did/does it very well. It was one of the things that swept me off my feet at the time...

May 17, 11:50pm Top

Calloo! Callay!
O frabjous day!
Come to my arms, my beamish boy.
He chortled in his joy.
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

I know lots of lines, just not in coherent order!

May 18, 1:32am Top

Happy new thread, Amber.

May 18, 2:18am Top

>55 scaifea: I remember you mentioning the Jabberwocky-reciting, Amber, and I keep being impressed by it. Someone who could recite something like that would score very highly with me - I completely understand that you were swept off your feet.

May 18, 6:17am Top

>56 ronincats: Roni: *grins*

>57 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara!

>58 PawsforThought: Paws: He's also gorgeous, a big reader, very smart and super funny. He's a pretty amazing guy, really, and I'm lucky to be able to say that he's my best friend.

May 18, 6:26am Top

On the agenda for today:
I have a doctor's appointment in Dubuque this morning, then the grocery shopping that I didn't do yesterday. Depending on how much time is left before Charlie gets out of school, I may try to do more writing and sewing (or I may take a nap).

We had to head to the basement last night for a little while during the storms, as the tornado alarm went off. False alarm, thank goodness, but then the In-Laws are coming for a visit starting this evening, so it's one bit of nasty weather after another, I guess. Yoicks.

On the reading front:
I listened to more of Neil reading Norse Mythology (wonderful) and read more of Garram the Hunter and Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids yesterday.

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "Copies of Robinson Crusoe sold so quickly when first published that four additional printings were needed within four months."

May 18, 6:27am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-How a Computer Is Made by Sam Aloian (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B
And bits of:
-Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior
-The Fairy-Tale Detectives

May 18, 6:39am Top

Morning, Amber! Sweet Thursday! I have the day off, so bird walk early and then a few chores, in and outdoors later.

Good luck today in Dubuque.

May 18, 6:46am Top

>62 msf59: Morning, Mark! Yay for a day off!

And thanks - I've been having some issues lately, so I'm hoping to find some answers today (I'll maybe post more details after the appointment).

May 18, 7:04am Top

>59 scaifea: You know, maybe I should think about moving across the Atlantic...

Hope everything goes well at the doctor's.

May 18, 7:49am Top

>64 PawsforThought: Paws: Ha! Well, that one is also married...

And thanks - fingers crossed that the doc knows what it is and that it's an easy fix.

May 18, 12:58pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Amber!

Our flight's been moved back 4 hours, so I'm checking in with you instead. :-)

May 18, 1:35pm Top

Hope the doctor's visit goes well and sending you wishes for infinite patience during the in-laws visit. *hugs*

May 18, 3:15pm Top

>66 jnwelch: Joe: Oh, sorry about the delay, although selfishly I'm happy to see you here!

>67 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky - I suspect I'll need those hugs later...

May 18, 3:21pm Top

Okay, so I'm back from the doc's office and feel better about talking about what has apparently turned out to be nothing (? hopefully):

For about 3 weeks now I've been having issues with my heart pounding (not beating faster, just harder) constantly, with a heaviness in my chest (it sometimes feels like someone is sitting on me when I'm breathing), and occasional bouts of heart palpitations. I went to Urgent Care two weeks ago and they shrugged their shoulders and gave me a Rx for abuterol, which I took for one day and then promptly quit because it seemed to make everything MUCH worse. Today the doc listened to my heart and lungs, said they both sound super healthy and totally normal and fine, but did an EKG just to make sure, which also turned out to be completely normal and good. So the good news is apparently I'm not dying (I was beginning to have doubts), but the not fabulous news is that she doesn't really know what's causing it. It does seem to be getting better, very gradually, and the fact that she reassured me several times that she's not at all concerned helped. I'm to go back if it gets worse again, but she seems to think that it will continue to go away. Fingers crossed.

May 18, 3:44pm Top

>69 scaifea: Have they checked your thyroid? I ask this only because I have a family history of thyroid issues and some of those symptoms can sometimes be your thyroid going nuts.

May 18, 3:52pm Top

>69 scaifea: >70 MickyFine: What Micky said! The thyroid is nothing to mess with, and for some reason doctors apparently don't start with testing that for problems like yours. I know, I had hyperthyroidism back in the late 70s, which the medicos missed, and ended up with a prolapsed mitral valve before they figured it out.

Edited: May 18, 4:00pm Top

>54 ronincats:, >56 ronincats: Oh, yes! The Jabberwocky poem is wonderful, isn't it! Like Roni, I know bits of it by heart, though not the whole.

I also love The Highwayman, melodramatic though it is, and can recite bits of it, too. I like Loreena McKennitt's shortened version that's on her album, The Book of Secrets.

May 18, 4:45pm Top

>70 MickyFine: >71 Storeetllr: My mom has had thyroid issues for years, and so I've been tested periodically in the past with never any signs of a problem. I mentioned it today and the doc didn't think that could be it. It the symptoms persist or worsen, I'll go back and perhaps gently insist on getting tested.

May 18, 6:41pm Top

Glad to hear you're well despite the symptoms. And if things are better now hopefully it'll all go away soon enough.
I have a (massive) family history of heart disease and various heart issues so I get really worried when I or anyone else in the family has any symptoms at all. It's a very scary thing. (Scary enough to frighten me into exercising on a daily basis.)

May 18, 7:47pm Top

>74 PawsforThought: Paws: Thanks. Heart stuff *is* scary. My dad has an ol' chestnut of a saying about any injury or illness, "Well, it's too far from your heart to kill you," and I told him this week that it IS my heart - now what?! Ha!

May 19, 4:24am Top

If you'll allow me to be a bit facetious for a moment, I think I speak for everyone here when I say I'm glad it seems you're not dying just yet.

May 19, 6:21am Top

I'm glad the doc allayed your fears, Amber. I hope it continues to get better on its own.

May 19, 6:27am Top

>76 PawsforThought: Paws: Ha! Yes, thanks. Me, too.

>77 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. I do feel a little bit better again this morning, so gradually every day it seems to be going away.

May 19, 6:32am Top

On the agenda for today:
The goal is to be out and away from the house (and our guests) as much as possible today, so I'll do the grocery shopping after taking Charlie to school and then my usual Thursday afternoon volunteering *this* afternoon. They're going to school in between there to have lunch with Charlie, so I think I'll be pretty successful in avoiding them for the majority of the day. Ham and Bean Soup for dinner tonight, I think.

On the reading front:
I listened to more of Norse Mythology and read more of Garram the Hunter and Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids, and started a re-read of The Thief.

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "According to Robert Newman Peck, the character of Miss Kelly, the teacher in the Soup books, is based on a real teacher and is portrayed with almost 100 percent accuracy."

May 19, 6:33am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Friday! Glad your results were positive. I hope this issue clears up quickly. We want you around for a long, long time.

May 19, 6:36am Top

>80 msf59: Aw, thanks so much, Mark!

May 19, 6:46am Top

Just when you think modern medicine has progressed so far, something like this comes along that they can't figure out with all their machines and tests and you realize just how complicated and unknown the human system still is! Like everyone else here, I am very glad that your symptoms are alleviating even as I share your frustration at not coming away with some sort of definitive answer as to why it was happening. And if I might speak directly to the offending organ: Be good, Amber's Heart! The lists need her here, and so do we. ;-)

May 19, 6:49am Top

>83 rosalita: Thanks, Julia! Yes, my lists need me! Ha!

And I'm afraid that this business of not being able to figure out what's wrong seems to be the norm for me, to the point that I dread going to the doctor, assuming that I'll be accumulating high bills for visits and tests with not real results or help. Yoicks. I do feel better about this one, since it's not actually painful and I gained relief that it's not serious.

May 19, 6:50am Top

>84 scaifea: That's true — no real diagnosis but at least ruling out some really scary stuff is worth something.

May 19, 6:53am Top

>85 rosalita: The doc was lovely and patient with me, too, as I kept saying, "So, you're SURE that I'm not dying, then?" and running through my list of things that may be causing it (onset of type 1 diabetes, which runs super heavily in my family, heart issues (of course), ...). She's new to me, but I think I like her tons. She even took the time to ask what I was reading (I was of course posed nose-firmly-in-book when she came into the room) and we chatted a bit about the book. Clearly the sign of a good doc.

May 19, 8:43am Top

Glad the doctor was reassuring Amber. Hope you continue to feel better, and good luck on a busy day away from the visitors :-)

May 19, 9:14am Top

>86 scaifea: That doctor sounds like a keeper, for sure!

May 19, 10:31am Top

>87 charl08: Thanks so much, Charlotte!

>88 rosalita: Julia: I know, right?! She's lovely.

May 19, 12:16pm Top

So sorry about your medical scare -- and I can image it was quite a scare. Hope it continues to go away and that all returns to normal.

May 19, 4:45pm Top

Hi Amber, Karen says thank you for the birthday wishes and Amy made me laugh when she told her mum she was sorry that she had broken me. As I said I was fine singing along to Showaddywaddy with Karen by my side and then Bobby Vee came on and then bang, I had gone with tears in my eyes for no apparent reason as we had not been talking about anyone and were just enjoying our drive back home.

Hope you are having a really nice Friday dear friend, sending love and hugs.

May 19, 5:11pm Top

>90 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks so much, Reba. I feel even better today, so soon I should be completely back to my normal self.

>91 johnsimpson: Hi, John! Those emotions just show that you're a fabulous dad. Happy Friday to you, too, friend.

May 19, 5:17pm Top

>92 scaifea:, Aw shucks Amber, I am getting embarrassed now. My lovely lady and my kids mean a lot to me and I try to make sure they are sorted before me, hopefully I have done my best over the years for them.

May 19, 5:36pm Top

>93 johnsimpson: John: See? I told you - typical signs of a great parent right there.

May 19, 5:46pm Top

72. Garram the Hunter by Herbert Best (Newbery Honor Book, 332 pages) - 8/10 = B+
A young African hunter and his clever dog have various adventures, including saving the life on an Emir and a chieftain (the latter being his own father).
I liked this one much more than I expected to, honestly. Funny and engaging, and the young Garram is extremely likable.

May 19, 11:36pm Top

I am glad that your medical scare turned out probably OK. It sounds frightening. Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, are they not?

OK, and for poetry, there's lots I like, but if we are talking favorites, it's got to be love poetry. Here's Adrienne Rich

Since we’re not young, weeks have to do time
for years of missing each other. Yet only this odd warp
in time tells me we’re not young.
Did I ever walk the morning streets at twenty,
my limbs streaming with a purer joy?
did I lean from any window over the city
listening for the future
as I listen here with nerves tuned for your ring?
And you, you move toward me with the same tempo.
Your eyes are everlasting, the green spark
of the blue-eyed grass of early summer,
the green-blue wild cress washed by the spring.
At twenty, yes: we thought we’d live forever.
At forty-five, I want to know even our limits.
I touch you knowing we weren’t born tomorrow,
and somehow, each of us will help the other live,
and somewhere, each of us must help the other die.

and we can't do without The Bard:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

Edited: May 20, 2:46pm Top

Morning, Amber!

A doctor who asks about the book you're reading - love it. And glad the news was positive. Good first question, and a brave one. I usually work my way into, "Am I dying?"

May 20, 8:10am Top

>96 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda! It's a big relief, for certain.

And thanks for the poetry! I'd not read the Rich before, but it's lovely. And of course Shakespeare is always a favorite, that one in particular.

>97 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Thanks - I'm glad, too. And yes, I think she's a keeper. She was a bit late coming in to the appointment, but I'm perfectly fine with that if it means she's spending as much careful time with her other patients as she did with me.

May 20, 8:15am Top

On the agenda for today:

We'll be heading to Lancaster (a nearby town) for breakfast in a bit, and then this afternoon we've been invited by one of Charlie's friends to attend his ballet recital. We're pretty excited about this, because Charlie may join the class soon. He's been interested for a while, and we need an alternative to gymnastics, which is becoming intolerable (Charlie likes it, but is also miserable in the class, because the teacher can't control the other boys in there, who are incredibly undisciplined and rowdy. I honestly thought Charlie was going to get hurt the last time we attended. So nope. That's done.).

On the reading front:
After finishing Garram the Hunter, I started The Island on Bird Street, and then also read a bit more of A Lear of the Steppes last night, too.

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "Although Jane Yolen based the child in Owl Moon (1988 Caldecott Medal) on her daughter, the book doesn't specify whether the child is a boy or girl."

May 20, 8:15am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
Just a bit of The Fairy-Tale Detectives last night - our visitors are messing with our reading schedule...

Edited: May 20, 7:52pm Top

So last weekend I found a lovely flowery fabric at one of the garage sales for $.50, and decided to pair it up with a scrap of pink leftovers from another project to make Charlie's teacher an end-of-the-year present:

I'm going to fill it with summer vacation themed odds and ends (sunglasses, nail polish, flip-flops, sunscreen and a copy of Michael Chabon's Summerland).

May 20, 9:46am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Saturday. A light rain is falling here. Sighs...

I like your basket idea. I have Summerland on shelf. I have been meaning to get to it.

Need to come back and read the Rich Poem...

May 20, 11:38am Top

What a cool gift idea!!

May 20, 12:01pm Top

>102 msf59: Morning, Mark! The rain here is pretty steady. *sigh*

Oh, do try to get to Summerland soon - it's so good.

>103 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba! I'll try to remember to post a photo once I've got all the stuff in it later today, maybe.

May 20, 6:28pm Top

>101 scaifea: So cool.

Amber, do you ever sleep? :-)

May 20, 7:51pm Top

>105 EBT1002: Ha! Thanks, Ellen! I sleep, I just don't shower often...

May 20, 7:51pm Top

Here it is with all of the goodies in it:

May 20, 8:49pm Top

>107 scaifea: Oh nifty, I love it!

May 20, 9:17pm Top

>108 bell7: Thanks, Mary!

May 21, 4:01am Top

Morning, Amber!

>107 scaifea: Nice! I'm sure Charlie's teacher will appreciate the thoughtfulness, not to mention the creativity.

May 21, 8:05am Top

>110 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! And thanks!

May 21, 8:17am Top

Happy Sunday, Amber.

May 21, 8:35am Top

>112 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara! Happy Sunday to you, too!

May 21, 8:38am Top

On the agenda for today:
We're all headed to the zoo in Madison today, and then we'll also likely putter around the UW campus a bit, too.

On the reading front:
I read more of both The Island on Bird Street and War and Peace yesterday.

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "Peggy Rathman's (Officer Buckle and Gloria, 1996 Caldecott Medal) first book, Ruby the Copycat, developed from her urge to steal stories from others in a writing and illustrating class."

May 21, 8:38am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
A bit more of The Fairy-Tale Detectives

May 21, 9:14am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Sunday! Seeing a bit of sunshine out there and no rain. Yippee!!

Enjoy your day!

May 21, 9:21am Top

>116 msf59: Morning, Mark! We're pretty happy that it's not supposed to rain today, since we'll be doing a lot of outside stuff.

May 21, 11:55am Top

>107 scaifea: It's really, really cute!! And full of things I'm sure she will use.

May 21, 7:44pm Top

>118 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks so much, Reba!

Edited: May 23, 7:44am Top

73. The Island on Bird Street by Uri Orlev (1001 Children's Books, 162 pages) - 8/10 = B+
An 11-year-old boy must hide in an abandoned building in the Jewish Ghetto after being separated from his father, and stays there for several months waiting for his father to return.
Alternately heartbreaking and hopeful. A good and important read.

May 22, 12:02am Top

>99 scaifea: I can relate to the teacher can't control the other boys in there, who are incredibly undisciplined and rowdy. I honestly thought Charlie was going to get hurt the last time we attended.. Undisciplined and rowdy seems to be the natural state of lots of boys when they are in a bunch. My son used to be in soccer when he was a wee lad. Practices were usually outdoors and were fine but I can remember once when the weather was so bad that it was in a gym. Before they were brought to order the boys were bouncing off the walls but my Sam was sitting on a bench beside me were it was safe.

I am not a great poetry lover so it was hard to come up with a poem that I can relate to. This is one that does:

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

May 22, 6:02am Top

Morning, Amber!

>121 Familyhistorian:. I've always loved that Robert Frost poem, Meg.

May 22, 6:16am Top

>121 Familyhistorian: Meg: Why do some boys have to act so insane all of the time?! Poor Charlie can't stand it. Fortunately, it seems as if the ballet class will be a much better fit for him, and he's *very* excited about it. We'll go visit an actual class in a couple of weeks to be sure and then see about getting him signed up.
And I agree that the Frost is a classic.

>122 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Isn't that a good Frost poem?

May 22, 6:20am Top

On the agenda for today:
The Visitors leave this morning, so hopefully I'll be able to get back to normal today. Yoicks. I'm going to try to get back on the treadmill, although probably not for long just to start. And then the usual writing and sewing, plus a quick trup to the library before picking Charlie up from school.

On the reading front:
After finishing The Island on Bird Street, I started reading Banner in the Sky and also read a good chunk of Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids.

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "Paul Fleischman (Joyful Noise, 1989 Newbery Medal) usually did his homework on the bus."

May 22, 6:22am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
A bit of The Fairy-Tale Detectives

May 22, 6:28am Top

>121 Familyhistorian: I like this classic Frost poem. Glad to see some poetry floating around here. You guys should post some of it on the AAC poetry thread. Just sayin'...

Morning, Amber! Last work week before vacation. Hope it goes fast and smooth.

Enjoy your day.

May 22, 6:45am Top

>126 msf59: Morning, Mark!

I'm sorry - I haven't been paying attention to the challenge threads since I can't manage to keep up with the readings!

And yay for vacation eve!!

May 22, 8:28am Top

Glad to hear that your health scare turned out to be a non-event. I can't imagine why the urgent care would have given you albuterol - one of the side effects of albuterol is a racing or pounding heartbeat. I'm not sure I'd be going back to that urgent care again! :-(

May 23, 1:01am Top

>126 msf59: Last work week before vacation. Hope it goes fast and smooth. Hey, that's my vacation week you are wishing away there, mister Mark.

>123 scaifea: I don't know why some boys act insane all the time, Amber. Just be thankful you don't have to live with any of them! Yay for having your house back to yourselves. Glad you all liked the Robert Frost poem.

May 23, 4:57am Top

>6 scaifea: love your poems. I just emailed them both to a friend of mine who is suffering from a break-up. I hope they give her solace and don't make her sad(der).

I can't go by Robert Frost as a poet. I like some of those old(ish) ones with great rhythms and rhymes. My first forays into poetry were when I was travelling and needed a small book to take, one that I could read again and again. It was a little hard cover poetry book from a second hand shop, and me and my friend (who I just emailed) read the poems to each other in the evenings. (I just remembered that, what a fabulous memory!!)

>101 scaifea: wow wow wow- Charlie's teacher is going to LOVE that. What a lovely gift. And with the book too, *sigh*. Excellent.

May 23, 6:22am Top

>129 Familyhistorian: Meg: Ha! Enjoy your vacation week!
I'm so thankful every day that Charlie is Charlie. He's such a calm, thoughtful kid. Amazing.

>130 Ireadthereforeiam: Thanks, Megan! The Catullus is gorgeous and I never feel that I can translate it aptly. And funnily enough, I was assigned that Frost poem to translate *into* Latin in my Latin Verse Composition course in grad school. So tough, but so fun.

Frost is great, no? And I LOVE your memory of reading poetry to one another! Beautiful.

And thanks! I hope she loves it. She's been so good to Charlie this year and she's an amazing teacher.

May 23, 6:27am Top

On the agenda for today:
Dentist appointment this morning (6-month cleaning; fingers crossed that they don't find anything that needs fixing), then library volunteering this afternoon. It's inventory time, and the school librarian has lost her assistant to budget cuts, so I'll likely be in the library helping her out most afternoons now until school is out, or until we get the inventory finished, at least. Oh, and then Charlie has his book club at the public library tonight, too.

On the reading front:
I listened to more Norse Mythology and read more of Banner in the Sky and The Thief yesterday.

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "Scott O'Dell was writing an informal history about California when he found an article about a young Indian girl who had spent eighteen years alone on an island. That article sparked the idea for Island of the Blue Dolphins (1961 Newbery Medal)."

Edited: May 23, 6:33am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-Be Who You Are by Todd Parr (public library book, picture book) - 9/10 = A
And bits of:
-Sci-Fi Junior High
-Henry and Beezus
And we finished:

74. The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley (Charlie's book club read, 284 pages) - 8/10 = B
The characters from all the old fairy tales live together in a small town on the east coast of the U.S., guarded by the descendants of the Grimm brothers. The current guard is Granny Relda Grimm, who takes in her two granddaughters, who have up to this point been raised away from the town and away from the knowledge of who they are and what happens in that town. Together they start down the path to discovering what happened to the girls' parents, who disappeared over a year ago.
Meh. It's okay. Sort of fun, even. But not fabulous. Charlie loved it, though, and wants to read more of the series.

May 23, 6:33am Top

Happy Tuesday, Amber!

How are you liking the audio of Norse Mythology? A lot, I imagine. I read it in print, but I'll bet it's even better with Mr. G doing the audio honors.

I recently read Island of the Blue Dolphins for the first time, and I can see why it continues to be a favorite of many.

May 23, 6:35am Top

>133 scaifea: Morning, Joe! I am LOVING the Gaiman, of course, and yes, it's lovely to have him reading it to me. I do have a hard copy, too, to revisit later and possibly at some point read to Charlie (or he may of course decide to read it on his own).

I read Island of the Blue Dolphins when I was a kid and loved it so much. It was definitely one that I got completely lost in.

May 23, 6:40am Top

>129 Familyhistorian: Sorry, about that, Meg. LOL. One person's work week is another's vacation.

Morning, Amber! The poetry AAC thread, is not a challenge, (at this point), just a place to share poems.

Hooray for Mr. Gaiman!

May 23, 6:44am Top

>136 msf59: Morning, Mark!

I didn't know that about the poetry thread! Very cool.

And yes, yay for Gaiman!!

May 23, 7:01am Top

>120 scaifea: The Island on Bird Street is by Uri Orlev (I've read all his books that have been translated), I think you have credited his translator

Will have to think about a poem, probably one by Rupert Brooke

May 23, 7:10am Top

Hi Amber, I've been lurking here and not posting. Your mention of Charlie having library time tonight made me wonder, is there a summer reading program he's taking part in this year? I always enjoy Charlie's library adventures.

May 23, 7:44am Top

>138 avatiakh: Sorry - I knew that, of course. Silly me.

>139 lauralkeet: Morning, Laura! Yes, he'll definitely be part of the summer reading program again, plus he and I will start up our quest to visit all the libraries in our Southwest Wisconsin system this summer, too.

May 23, 8:05am Top

>140 scaifea: oh yay! I love those road trips.

May 23, 8:10am Top

>141 lauralkeet: Laura: Me, too! We have so much fun. And many of these little towns are completely new to us, so it's a real adventure.

May 23, 9:48am Top

I finished these yesterday:

May 23, 11:42am Top


May 23, 11:55am Top

LOVE the teacher gift and the socks, Amber! Banner in the Sky was one of my favorite books as a child; I read it numerous times. And have fun on your reread of the Queen's Thief series--I surely did!

May 23, 12:07pm Top

>136 msf59: Well, I call it a vacation, Mark. But it it really just doing work at home rather than at work so I guess wishing it away is ok especially as I have a few of these weeks scattered through the rest of the time until I retire at the end of September.

Have a great day, Amber, and a good check up at the dentist.

May 23, 1:46pm Top

>144 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>145 ronincats: Thanks, Roni! I'm liking Banner in the Sky so far, although I think I would have liked it more as a kid. And of course I LOVE the Thief books! I could see myself re-reading them every year, and I'm generally not a re-reader.

>146 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg! I got the all-clear at the dentist's office, so I can breath easy for another 6 months.

May 24, 6:25am Top

On the agenda for today:
Treadmilling, writing, sewing, then more volunteering at the school library.

On the reading front:
I listened to more Norse Mythology and read a big chunk of Banner in the Sky yesterday. I also finished A Lear of the Steppes (more on that later).

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "Roald Dahl was severely injured in World War II."

May 24, 6:28am Top

>146 Familyhistorian: Ooh, retirement. That is music to my ears. I have a few more years. Hope it goes fast.

Morning, Amber! Everything looks sodden out there. Sighs...

May 24, 6:37am Top

>149 msf59: Morning, Mark! We've had such a wet spring, haven't we? Yeesh.

May 24, 7:31am Top

Morning, Amber!

Did I mention The Sun is Also a Star to you? Really enjoyable YA about interracial romance, among other things.

May 24, 7:57am Top

>151 jnwelch: Morning, Joe!

I think you have mentioned it - at any rate, it's on the list!

May 24, 8:00am Top

And Book #75 this year is *drumroll* ... a dud.

75. A Lear of the Steppes by Ivan Turgenev (Books by Year (1870), 148 pages) - 7/10 = C
A variation on Shakespeare's King Lear.
Hm, best to stick with the original, really.

May 24, 9:01am Top

Congrats! Though I'm sorry it was a dud...

May 24, 10:00am Top

>153 scaifea: Hurrah! 75 books! Oh, and to think there was a time earlier in the year when I'd read more books than you!

May 24, 10:39am Top

>154 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! And it's okay, since it means I can check it off a list or two, which is a good feeling no matter what the book is like.

>155 PawsforThought: Thanks!

May 24, 12:06pm Top

Felicitations on reaching the magic number!

May 24, 12:20pm Top

Congrats on reaching 75 -- hope your next book is more enjoyable.

May 24, 12:50pm Top

May 24, 1:03pm Top

Huzzah on reaching the 75 book mark, Amber!

May 24, 1:49pm Top

Yay, you reached 75!

May 24, 3:11pm Top

Hi Amber, congrats on reaching 75 books for the year my dear. Hope you have had a good week so far dear friend. The weather here has been lovely since the weekend, sunny and warm and hopefully it will continue for a while. Sending love and hugs.

May 24, 3:58pm Top

Catching up after my long weekend in London... there were nearly 100 new msgs waiting for me here :-)

I am sorry your heart scared you, Amber, I am glad your doctor could reassure you and I hope you feel a bit better by now.
Congratulations on reaching book 75!

May 24, 4:49pm Top

Wow, 75 already! Congratulations.

May 24, 5:02pm Top

>146 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg - The countdown to retirement can seem like it takes forever! Just last night, I was unpacking some books and came across a journal I was keeping the year prior to my own retirement in 2013. Almost every entry began or ended with something along the lines of "can't wait until I retire."

Hi, Amber! Congrats on your reaching 75!

May 24, 5:06pm Top

Thanks so much, Roni, Rachel, John, Anita, Reba & Mary!!

>162 johnsimpson: John: So far so good this week, although we definitely haven't had the nice weather you're having - it's pretty gloomy and rainy here and has been for a while, really.

>163 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I'm feeling very nearly all the way back to normal now. I do wish I knew what had caused it, but I'm grateful that it's gone away!

May 24, 5:08pm Top

>166 scaifea:, Sorry you have gloomy and rainy weather at the moment Amber, I will send some warmth and sun over to you my dear.

Edited: May 24, 10:07pm Top

Mmmm...favorite poem. Well, this is one of my favorites, because I agree with every word:

Dirge Without Music

Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

And if you'd like, here is a video of Joan Crawford reciting it.

I'm glad the doctor is sure that heart palpitation thing is nothing to worry about. (Could there have been an element of anxiety over the approaching in-law visit at work there?) I understand dark chocolate is good for that.

May 25, 1:55am Top

(Could there have been an element of anxiety over the approaching in-law visit at work there?) I understand dark chocolate is good for that. Listen to Doctor Linda. Amber. LOL

Congrats on reaching 75, too bad it wasn't a good book.

>149 msf59: The music is starting to sound louder to me now, Mark.
>165 Storeetllr: Sounds like you were pretty anxious to retire, Mary. I haven't been counting down that long because there was a point when it didn't seem like retirement was in my future at all.

May 25, 4:37am Top

Morning, Amber!

Way to go on reaching 75!

Now you can take the rest of the year off and . . . just read books? Oh, never mind.

>168 laytonwoman3rd: That is the first Edna St. Vincent Millay I've ever liked a lot. Thanks, Linda.

May 25, 6:20am Top

>168 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Oh, that one is marvelous. Thanks for sharing it.

And thanks for the heart gladness - I'm pretty certain that it wasn't stress about the in-law visit; I don't honestly stress about those much anymore, other than the stress on my eyes from all of the rolling. Plus this all started something like a month ago, before I even knew about the visit. I'll keep the dark chocolate remedy in mind, though, in case it comes back...

>169 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I should just keep some dark chocolate in the house, just in case, eh?

>170 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Thanks! Yes, I think I'll just relax with the books, now...

May 25, 6:23am Top

On the agenda for today:
Treadmilling, menu-planning, grocery-listing, writing, a bit of the grocery shopping, and then more library volunteering.

On the reading front:
I finished Banner in the Sky yesterday (more on that later), listened to more Norse Mythology, and started The Full Cupboard of Life.

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "Although McElligot's Pool was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1948, Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) didn't consider it as successful as his other books because children didn't like it as well. He illustrated the book without the hard black outlines used in his other books."

May 25, 6:27am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
Bits of:
-Sci-Fi Junior High
-D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths
-Ida B

And we finished:
76. Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary (Charlie's bedtime read, 201 pages) - 8/10 = B+
As much as I like Cleary's stuff, this one is a bit dated and made me a little uncomfortable reading it. Henry really wants a bike but can't afford a new one, so he buys one at an auction with the help of Beezus, who accidentally bids on a girl's bike for him. Then follows much lamenting of the fact that he has a girl's bike and such. Plus, he complains a lot about having to hang out with girls and what a nuisance they can be. So Charlie and I talked about what's not quite right about all of that, of course.

May 25, 6:33am Top

Morning, Amber! Hooray for 75!! 2 more work days!

May 25, 6:37am Top

>174 msf59: Morning, Mark! Thanks! And hooray for 2 more days!

May 25, 8:07am Top

77. Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman (Newbery Honor Book, 285 pages) - 8/10 = B+
Rudi, whose father died trying to climb a mountain, is obsessed with accomplishing what his dad could not, despite his mother's and his uncle's forbidding it.
This one was good, but would have been better with a bit less description of the actual climbing.

May 26, 6:25am Top

On the agenda for today:
Grocery shopping, writing, and then more volunteering in the library.

On the reading front:
I listened to more Norse Mythology, started Emil and the Detectives and read more of War and Peace.

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "The first Newbery Medal recipient, awarded in 1922 was selected by popular vote. The Story of Mankind was the landslide winner with 163 votes while 14 other books received a combined total of 49 votes."

May 26, 6:26am Top

What We Read Yesterday:
-One Hundred Bones by Yuval Zommer (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B+
And bits of:
-Sci-Fi Junior High
-Tales from Shakespeare
-Ida B

Edited: May 26, 6:51am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Friday! This should have been my first day of vacation but they needed me to work tomorrow, because of the holiday Monday, so I agreed. The cash will be good.

I have a bird walk scheduled this A.M. I head out in an hour. No rest for the weary.

May 26, 7:14am Top

Morning, Amber!

Gosh, I haven't thought about Emil and the Detectives in an awfully long time. Are you liking it? I may have to re-read that one, as I remember too little.

May 26, 8:00am Top

>179 msf59: Morning, Mark! Happy birding! And that extra scratch will just make the vacation all the sweeter, no?

>180 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! I'm enjoying Emil quite a bit. In fact, I jotted down this quote yesterday that I really love:

"Emil was already familiar with those people who always say, 'Goodness, everything was better in the old days.' And he no longer listened when people told him that in the old days the air was cleaner or that cows had bigger heads. Because it usually wasn't true. Those people simply wanted to be dissatisfied, because otherwise they would have to be satisfied." Amen, Emil. Amen.

I also love the manner of speech between Emil and his mother; cheeky, yet so full of obvious love and admiration on both sides.

May 26, 10:56am Top

>181 scaifea: So, so true, Emil.

May 26, 11:00am Top

>182 PawsforThought: I know, right?

Yesterday, 2:17am Top

>181 scaifea: That is a good quote, Amber, I loved Emil when I read it long ago. And it reminds me to get to Kastners Fabian soon.

Yesterday, 3:53am Top

Morning, Amber!

Ha! Oh, I like that quote. You're inspiring me to return to Emil. Onto the WL it goes (I don't have it any more).

I suppose it would be a good idea not to post any Picasso art here, right?

Yesterday, 6:27am Top

>184 FAMeulstee: Isn't it, though, Anita? I'm very much enjoying Emil.

>185 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Emil is a hoot, for sure.

And yes, please do keep your Picasso to yourself. Ha!

Yesterday, 6:33am Top

On the agenda for today:
Tomm and I are taking Charlie up to Tomah, WI (about a 2.5-hour drive) to spend the day with his friend, who, if you remember, moved up there last summer. We'll drop him off and then explore the area by ourselves (we've never been up there), and look for a coffee shop or something in which to settle in and read for the day.

On the reading front:
I'm nearly finished with Emil and the Detectives, I listened to more Norse Mythology and finished Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids (more on that later).

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "Hardie Gramatky got the idea for Little Toot from watching the boats on the East River go past the window of his studio in New York City."

Yesterday, 6:50am Top

Morning Amber! Happy Saturday! Last work day and then I am outta here. It looks like a beauty too.

Enjoy your day.

Yesterday, 6:52am Top

>189 msf59: Morning, Mark! It does look like it will be a gorgeous day out there.

Yesterday, 8:35am Top

Have a great weekend, Amber!

Edited: Today, 4:09am Top

>187 scaifea: Sounds like a great plan. Hope Charlie has a lovely time with his friend. There is a lively BBC audio drama version of Emil which I enjoyed listening to a while back - I wonder if you and Charlie might enjoy it. I also wondered if you'd seen the crowd funding campaign Neil Gaiman had agreed to, in aid of UNHCR - sounds like a fun idea.


(And I love the Millay - hits the nail on the head for me)

Ed to fix my autocorrect howler. Hangs head...

Yesterday, 11:53am Top

>192 charl08: That crowd funding is *all over* my twitter timeline.

Yesterday, 12:22pm Top

>187 scaifea: Oh, what a lovely thing to do for Charlie. I hope you are all having an excellent time!

Yesterday, 2:05pm Top

>192 charl08: Awesome! I hope it happens. I could listen happily to Gaiman reading the telephone book, so I'm sure him reading the menu from Cheesecake Factory would be 100 times more wonderful.

Yesterday, 6:37pm Top

>191 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl! You, too!

>192 charl08: Hi, Charlotte! Thanks for the tip about the BBC production - it sounds like a hoot. And yes, I heard about the Gaiman thing. He's a pretty cool guy and does tons for charity.

>194 lycomayflower: Laura: Charlie had a fabulous time, and so did Tomm and I. We found the Tomah public library, which is small but beautiful, and spent some time just sitting and reading, which was wonderful. Then we had lunch at a 'European' restaurant, which was an adventure, but was fun.

Yesterday, 8:25pm Top

>196 scaifea: Glad Carlie had a good visit! And a "European" restaurant - you jet-setters, you. :)

Today, 4:11am Top

>196 scaifea: Yup, raising money this way for such a great cause definitely puts him firmly in that category :-)

Today, 9:07am Top

>197 drneutron: Ha! Thanks, Jim!

>198 charl08: Charlotte: He's such a strong supporter of refugees, this is right up his street.

Today, 9:14am Top

On the agenda for today:

Well, it's more of a weekend to-do list - not all of this will get done today, but I'm not sure what the tackling order will be just yet:
-clean the house
-weekend baking
-weekly photos
-buy some flowers and get them planted

On the reading front:
I finished Quiet Power, Emil and the Detectives and Norse Mythology yesterday. More on those later.

The Newbery/Caldecott Trivia: "David Wisniewski (Golem, 1997 Caldecott Medal) uses between 800 and 1000 blades for his knife to create the illustrations for each book."

Edited: Today, 9:18am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Sunday! Good luck with your chores.

Today, 10:04am Top

>201 msf59: Morning, Mark! Thanks!

Today, 11:17am Top

78. Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids by Susan Cain (because I wanted to, 254 pages)) - 8/10 = B-
A sort of self-help book for introverted kids.
Meh. I read this one thinking I might get some insight on how to help my son feel more at ease in loud and crowded settings, but there was nothing earth-shattering here. In fact, there was pretty much nothing that I wouldn't put in the Common Sense category. *shrug*

79. Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner (1001 Children's Books, 159 pages) - 8/10 = B+
Young Emil is off to visit his grandmother and aunt in Berlin, but has his money stolen from him on the train. He spends the rest of the book tracking down the thief, with the help of some kids he meets on the streets of Berlin.
This one is a complete hoot. Clever and witty and adorable.

80. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Gaiman bibliography, audiobook) - 10/10 = A
Gaiman retelling stories from Norse Mythology. Amazing, excellent, gloriously good.

Today, 12:06pm Top

Mornlng, Amber!

(Evening here).

Tales from Shakespeare - is that the Charles and Mary Lamb one? I read those way back when. I think they were in two books when I read them.

Today, 12:12pm Top

>204 jnwelch: Evening, Joe!

Yes, it is the Charles and Mary Lamb one. I don't know if we'll read all of them now (the language is still pretty heavy), but I at least wanted to read a couple to Charlie, to give him an idea of what that plays are about in case we find some productions to see this summer.

Edited: Today, 1:47pm Top

Well, looks like my next Audible purchase is going to be Gaiman's Norse Mythology. Hope he is the reader.

ETA that I checked and he is!

Today, 2:47pm Top

>206 Storeetllr: Mary: Of course he is!

Today, 4:07pm Top

Well, so, Mario is having a bit of trouble, it seems.

Yesterday we noticed that her right eye looked a little cloudy; this morning it was swollen shut with green gundge seeping out of it. So, one emergency trip to the vet later and we are equipped with a salve, some antibiotics, and the sad news that our sweet, sweet, only-2-year-old Mario has a massive (and apparently super-sudden) cataract and so is now blind in that eye.

We'll be taking her to a veterinary opthamologist in Madison at some point soon to have the other eye checked out to make sure there's not one coming up on that eye, too, and possibly for some advice on treatments to keep a second cataract at bay. I'm afraid that at this point we can't afford cataract surgery for her (it clocks in at around $2500), although if she gets one in the other eye too, we'll figure out how to swing it so that she won't be completely blind. The vet told us that she'll readjust and get used to not seeing out of the right eye and should be okay as long as the other eye remains healthy. Apparently it's pretty rare for a dog so young to get such a thing. Poor gal. We're all pretty sad here today for her.

Today, 4:12pm Top

>107 scaifea: As always, Amber, you are such a lovely, kind soul. I'm glad to know you

Today, 4:14pm Top

>209 Whisper1: Aw, thanks, Linda!

Today, 4:17pm Top

So sorry, Amber. It is heartbreaking to have an ailing pet and to feel that there's not much to be done. However, dogs (and cats) are extremely adaptable and Mario will find a way to get by, and with style. We had a white German Shepherd (Elsa the Wonder Dog) who went fully blind eventually. We fashioned balls with jingle bells inside, and she could chase those, successfully. We had to carefully guide her most of the time, but a dog's senses of smell and hearing are so sharp, I think that Mario's other senses will step up to help her. It still is sad, though. Give her a hug for me, and take some for yourselves, too!

Karen O.

Today, 4:18pm Top

Amber, I'm sad to read about Mario's cataract. I hope she gets quick relief from the stuff you brought home today, and also that this is limited to the one eye. Hugs to Mario and everyone at Scaife Manor.

Edited: Today, 4:33pm Top

>211 klobrien2: Thanks, Karen. She's such a sweet thing, and so full of love for everything. Even though she's clearly a little scared of what's happening, she had nothing but enthusiastic tail wags for the vet when she was examining her and poking around with her eye.

>212 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. Yes, definitely hoping that the left eye remains healthy and sound for a long time. I'll be calling the breeder to ask if this is possibly a hereditary thing - not to complain, mind (we couldn't have asked for a sweeter, more wonderful pup), but to get a better sense of what is causing it.

Today, 5:25pm Top

So sorry to hear about your dog. Pets with health issues are my Achilles heel, and it's so heartbreaking when you want to do everything for them and make them okay again but can't.

Today, 5:35pm Top

>214 PawsforThought: Thanks. And yes, it's so hard to watch them suffer, knowing they don't understand what's happening to them.

Today, 5:51pm Top

Aw, poor sweet Mario, that is indeed very young to get a cataract.
I hope the other eye stays clear and I am sure she will adapt. Dogs don't depend so much on their eyes as we humans do.
Give Mario a hug (and sweet old Tuppence too).

Today, 5:51pm Top

>208 scaifea: So sorry to hear about Mario. If it's any comfort our cat Sweep has virtually no sight in one eye because of a cataract and still manages to have a pretty happy life. The main problem she has is in judging distances when she's jumping up or down, but overwise she manages very well. Here's hoping that Mario's other eye stays healthy.

Today, 5:54pm Top

>216 FAMeulstee: >217 SandDune: Thanks so much, ladies. I bet she'll adjust, too. It's this beginning stage, in which she's confused and very likely scared that's so heartbreaking. She's getting tons of extra love today, although in general she already gets lots of affection (as does Tuppence, too, of course). Tuppence seems to know that something's wrong, because she's been following Mario around like a mother hen today.

Today, 5:56pm Top

Hugs for Mario and her family. I agree that she will adapt quite well to only have sight in one eye, and I hope the other one remains healthy for her. I have to say I've never heard of such a young dog getting cataracts, but I guess there are always outliers in everything. Such a pity it had to be a sweetie like Mario, though!

Today, 6:08pm Top

>219 rosalita: Thanks, Julia. It's so weirdly young, isn't it?

Today, 6:21pm Top

Well, Mario, that's a real bummer. But I think you should hold out for an eye patch...you'd be fetching in one.

Today, 6:32pm Top

>221 laytonwoman3rd: Pirate for Halloween, perhaps?

(First thing I did when I had to wear an eye patch as a kid (for a lazy eye) was request that I be a pirate next time there was a fancy dress party. You have to make the most of what you're dealt.)

Today, 6:43pm Top

>221 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Ha! I've been trying to sell that idea here all day! I'd totally make her an awesome pirate patch. I also think she should have a parrot...

>222 PawsforThought: Charlie had to wear a patch when he was 5 for about 9 months (not for a lazy eye, but for another condition - he was essentially legally blind in one eye and they needed to retrain the eye to 'see'). We played pirate dress up a few times while he wore it (4 hours a day) - it was a hoot!

Today, 6:45pm Top

So here's the rainbow that we saw from our front window last weekend - pretty nice, eh?

Today, 6:51pm Top

>223 scaifea: You're my kind of person! I was at school most of the time I had my patch so couldn't really dress up (well, there's no uniform or dress code so I guess I *could have* but I would have felt a bit weird) then.
I wore mine for a LONG time (years, and for hours every day) so I needed a bit of a cheering up. I preferred the pirate type patch to the bandaid one which hurt like %#€& to remove.

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