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scaifea's 2019 Thread #3

This is a continuation of the topic scaifea's 2019 Thread #2.

This topic was continued by scaifea's 2019 Thread #4.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

Join LibraryThing to post.

1scaifea
Jan 29, 12:05pm Top



Art by Natasa Makri, inspired by If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

Hey, everybody!

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, writing, knitting, baking, and, of course, reading. Oh, and I run an Etsy shop and I'm co-writing a Latin textbook with a former colleague. So I keep busy.

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

I'm 43 going on 12 and live in Ohio with my husband, Tomm; our 10-year-old son, Charlie; and our two dogs, Tuppence the Border Collie and Mario the Golden Retriever.



Favorite Books from 2018
The Hate U Give
We Are Okay
Revenge
Uprooted
Doc
Trigger Warning
Sacre Bleu
The Sleeper and the Spindle
You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
84 Charing Cross Road
In a Sunburned Country
Becoming

2scaifea
Jan 29, 12:06pm Top

The five-ish or so books I have going at once 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 9 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
ask)).
e. Christopher Moore's bibliography (in chronological order)
f. Maggie Stiefvater's bibliography (in chronological order)
g. The NEH Timeless Classics list
h. The National Book Award list (in alpha order by title)
i. 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.

3scaifea
Edited: Feb 11, 9:58am Top



What I'm Reading Now:
-Crime and Punishment (Books by Year, 1866)
-Darius the Great Is Not Okay (Morris Award)
-The Name of the Wind (SFF Awards)
-The Fifth Elephant (Discworld read)
-Nicholas Nickleby (audiobook)
-Howl's Moving Castle (Charlie's bedtime book)
-Next of Kin (Boyne bibliography)

Books on Deck:
-In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (series that my mom wants me to read so we can chat about it)
-The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare re-read)
-Lolita (Banned Books)
-The Firefly's Lovers and Other Fairy Tales of Old Japan (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books)
-Lincoln (U.S. Presidential Challenge)
-Angels and Visitations (Gaiman bibliography)
-(an unread book from my shelves)
-The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six Others (from my Read Soon! Shelves)
-Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Buddhist reading list)

4scaifea
Edited: Feb 11, 9:58am Top

Books Read

JANUARY
1. The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric (Read Soon! Shelves) - 7/10 = C
2. Viking's Dawn (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B+
3. Journey Outside (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
4. Leader by Destiny (Newbery Honor Book) - 7/10 = C-
5. Eugenie Grandet (audiobook) - 8/10 = B
6. The Man Who Was Thursday (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 8/10 = B+
7. The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring (Charlie's bedtime read) - 8/10 = B+
8. Bhimsa the Dancing Bear (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-
9. Carpe Jugulum (Discworld) - 8/10 = B
10. All the Crooked Saints (Read Soon! Shelves) - 9/10 = A
11. Boy with a Pack (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
12. The Robber Hotzenplotz (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B-
13. The Wonderful Year (Newbery Honor Book) - 7/10 = C
14. Treasure of Green Knowe (Charlie's bedtime book) - 9/10 = A
15. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 8/10 = B+

FEBRUARY
16. The Night Diary (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
17. The Poet X (Printz Award) - 9/10 = A

5scaifea
Jan 29, 12:09pm Top

Every morning Mario sits on the stairs with Charlie to help with Shoe Tying Time. She's, of course, a *huge* help...



A Tuppence Nose and Paw Sighting:

6RebaRelishesReading
Jan 29, 12:17pm Top

I've been checked back and forth since I discovered this new thread and you haven't posted for about 7 minutes according to my count so I assume you're finished and I can be first to wish you a happy new thread :)

7jnwelch
Jan 29, 12:43pm Top

Happy New Thread, Amber! I love all the photos - that last one with Tuppence's nose and toes is a hoot! That's pretty much what we're doing in chilly Chicago today.

8scaifea
Jan 29, 12:47pm Top

>6 RebaRelishesReading: Hi, Reba! Aw, I appreciate the checking - I'm always nervous that someone will post before I've finished and then I'd develop a twitch, I think. Ha! (Not that I'm *so* popular that folks should be breaking down the door or anything...) I generally wait until I'm open for business before posting a New Thread notice on the old one.

Anyway, thanks! First place!!


9scaifea
Jan 29, 12:49pm Top

>7 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! Tuppence is a bit of a recluse and she loves sleeping underneath blankets and pillow forts. I love seeing her little snoot poking out of her hidey-holes. So funny.

Ohmygosh, are you folks ready up there?! We're supposed to get hit tomorrow/tonight, too, but not nearly as badly as you are. I'm still expecting school to be canceled tomorrow, to be honest. I'm *so* happy that Mark has the day off tomorrow! I would have been fretting about him otherwise, as I'm sure so many of us would have been.

10katiekrug
Jan 29, 12:49pm Top

Happy new one, Amber!

11scaifea
Jan 29, 1:01pm Top

>10 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

12m.belljackson
Jan 29, 1:18pm Top

(from last thread)

Can you give us a sample sentence from one of the Latin kid's books?

13scaifea
Jan 29, 1:20pm Top

>12 m.belljackson: Sure. Let's play Guess the Children's Book from the Latin translation (this one shouldn't be too difficult):

bonam noctem, luna

14Carmenere
Edited: Jan 29, 1:28pm Top

Happy third thread, Amber! I think I'll join Tuppence, though my nose is not as cute, under the comforter and stay there till Friday.

>13 scaifea: ooooo I know, I know!

15lycomayflower
Edited: Jan 29, 1:28pm Top

>13 scaifea: Goodnight, Moon?

16foggidawn
Jan 29, 1:28pm Top

Happy new thread! I know the answer to the above, but I'll let others shout it out. ;-) Love Tuppence's hiding picture.

17johnsimpson
Jan 29, 2:07pm Top

Hi Amber, happy new thread my dear.

18m.belljackson
Jan 29, 2:18pm Top

This is a Fun 75 Challenge!

I'm sharing it with my daughter today.

19scaifea
Jan 29, 2:18pm Top

>14 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda! I don't blame you for staying under the covers! I'm really hoping Charlie's school cancels - I want him home where I know he's safe and warm! (Over-protective mom alert!)

>15 lycomayflower: Laura: DINGDINGDING!



>16 foggidawn: Thanks! Isn't that a great photo of Tuppence! Of course I like the Mario & Charlie one, too.

>17 johnsimpson: Thanks, John!!

20scaifea
Jan 29, 2:19pm Top

>18 m.belljackson: Ha! Well, how about another one, then?

"atque nunc," Maximus clamavit, "turba fera incipiat!"

21foggidawn
Jan 29, 2:31pm Top

>20 scaifea: That's from Where the Wild Things Are, I believe. "And now," cried Max, "Let the Wild Rumpus start!"

22scaifea
Jan 29, 2:34pm Top

>21 foggidawn: You got it!!

23m.belljackson
Jan 29, 2:41pm Top

>20 scaifea:

That was tougher - got the first two words - now I've got to remember not to peek at other posts!

Good Luck staying home - with a minus 50 wind chill predicted for tonight in Wisconsin, mail delivery will be a surprise.
Morning newspapers have been arriving late in the afternoon or the next day.

24scaifea
Jan 29, 2:54pm Top

>23 m.belljackson: That one was a bit tougher, for certain.

We're expecting a -40 windchill here; I'd be happy to pass on getting mail tomorrow if it meant the mail carrier was safe, to be honest.

25scaifea
Jan 29, 2:56pm Top

Okay, another one? This one shouldn't be too difficult, if you're at all familiar with classic children's books:

Urse spadix, urse spadix, quid vides?

26katiekrug
Jan 29, 3:04pm Top

Something about a bear?

#latinscholar

27foggidawn
Jan 29, 3:30pm Top

*grins*

28lauralkeet
Jan 29, 3:34pm Top

>26 katiekrug: LOL. I'm not even going to attempt it.

29scaifea
Jan 29, 3:44pm Top

>26 katiekrug: *snork!* Yes!

>27 foggidawn: Too easy for you, I know.

>28 lauralkeet: Laura: Aw, c'mon. You can't think of a children's book involving asking a certain kind of bear a question after addressing him twice...?

30msf59
Jan 29, 4:18pm Top

Happy New Thread, Amber! I am enjoying my afternoon with the books. Golden Child is turning out to be a satisfying read.

31scaifea
Jan 29, 4:24pm Top

>30 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I'm enjoying my afternoon of working on the Latin book...I guess... I'm also waiting for a call from the school, canceling tomorrow - I sure hope they do!

32fairywings
Jan 29, 4:45pm Top

Happy new thread Amber. Your pics are so cute.

33weird_O
Jan 29, 4:54pm Top

Tramping through, I am. Snowing all day today, but the accumulation isn't fearful, I'm happy to report. Temps aren't as scary as those in Chicago, Minneapolis.

Enjoyed seeing the pooches, the lad, the lad's mom. You all look well. What could be better.

Planning—ok, fantasizing—an astounding purchase at a library book sale tomorrow. Have to see what weather and road conditions are.

Happy happy, joy joy!

34scaifea
Jan 29, 5:06pm Top

>32 fairywings: Thanks, Adrienne!

>33 weird_O: Hi, Bill! I'd be lying if I said I weren't jealous of the book sale. Fingers crossed that the weather behaves enough to let you go!

35BLBera
Jan 29, 5:08pm Top

Happy new thread, Amber. Love the topper art.

36drneutron
Jan 29, 5:09pm Top

Happy new thread! Google Translate on that last one was interesting...

37jayde1599
Jan 29, 5:40pm Top

>25 scaifea:: my guess is a title by Bill Martin Jr.? My one year of high school Latin is helping a little but my picture book knowledge is more helpful.

38scaifea
Jan 29, 5:54pm Top

>35 BLBera: Hi, Beth! Thanks!

>36 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! Google Translate?! How's that pumpkin taste?

(Also, wow, Google Translate needs to take some Latin classes...)

>37 jayde1599: Jess: Yep! You got it!

39m.belljackson
Jan 29, 6:03pm Top

>25 scaifea:

Familiar with Kid Classics? Yes, but my daughter is 43 so there may be many new Classics.

For this one, Wild Bear sounded good, but not quite right, so I guessed maybe a color and,
for sure, Brown Bear, Brown Bear was familiar.

But, i went with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Where Do You Go? (voy, vas, va, vamos...)

Not quite a cigar (looked it up and that IS Latin; sigar in Icelandic)...

40drneutron
Jan 29, 6:03pm Top

>38 scaifea: *snerk*

41Carmenere
Jan 29, 6:41pm Top

Hope Charlie's school is closed tomorrow. Even OSU, which I heard, never closes - have no classes tomorrow.

42scaifea
Jan 29, 8:15pm Top

>39 m.belljackson: Very close to a cigar, though!

>40 drneutron: *grins*

>41 Carmenere: Lynda: Yes! We got the call earlier this evening - no school tomorrow for Charlie! I'm so glad they called it tonight so that we can sleep in tomorrow! And good for OSU - you must be relieved not to have to fret about your collegiate walking to class in the cold...

43Familyhistorian
Jan 30, 1:00am Top

Happy new thread, Amber. Hope you guys weather the weather ok.

44susanj67
Jan 30, 4:50am Top

Happy new thread, Amber! I was reading this thread at the bus stop this morning, on my phone. I got to >25 scaifea:, considered it and thought "Hmmm - something about a bear?" Then I scrolled down and Katie's >26 katiekrug: appeared. I giggled out loud. And yes, I did get a seat to myself on the bus...

45scaifea
Jan 30, 8:24am Top

>43 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg! Tomm had to go to work, but Charlie and I are snug inside for the day.

>44 susanj67: Hi, Susan! Ha! I love that Katie helped you get a seat to yourself - she's such a helpy-helper.

46scaifea
Jan 30, 8:27am Top

Well, Charlie and I (and Tuppence and Mario, too) are cozied up for a day of video games and reading (Charlie) and writing and hopefully some reading (me) today.

I made some progress on the Latin book yesterday and worked later than I'd expected, which means I didn't get as much reading time as I really wanted, but I still finished up The Wonderful Year last night (mini review to come).

Cozy stay-in days call for cozy comfort foods, so we'll have baked potatoes (Tomm's favorite) and cooked carrots (one of Charlie's favorites) for dinner tonight, I think.

47foggidawn
Jan 30, 8:46am Top

>46 scaifea: Mmm, baked potatoes and cooked carrots sound like just the thing for a day like today.

48katiekrug
Jan 30, 9:06am Top

>44 susanj67: and >45 scaifea: - I live to serve.

Aaaand, now I want a baked potato...

49scaifea
Jan 30, 9:08am Top

>47 foggidawn: I know, right?!

>48 katiekrug: Ha!

50susanj67
Jan 30, 9:19am Top

>46 scaifea: I'm intrigued by "cooked carrots" - I assume they're something different from just boiled carrots? (not least because a 10-year-old boy loves them, which I have never encountered with boring old boiled ones :-) )

51scaifea
Jan 30, 9:30am Top

>50 susanj67: Susan: Nope, just the boring old boiled ones. Charlie loves 'em. He's a 90yo man in a 10yo's body.

52scaifea
Jan 30, 9:33am Top



13. The Wonderful Year by Nancy Barnes (Newbery Honor Book, 185 pages) - 7/10 = C
11-year-old Ellen Martin is moving with her parents from Kansas to the pioneer mountains of Colorado. She spends a summer adjusting to 'country life,' learning to ride her new bike, and developing a crush on the teenaged British neighbor boy, who sees her as a little kid who is also a fun tomboy type. When Ellen's family move into town in the fall for her schooling, she needs to adjust again, but this time isn't as easy and she falls into a depression from not making new friends and missing her crush, who has went away to school on the east coast.
It started out sweet and mostly harmless, but the story took a weird turn with Ellen's near-obsession with the teen boy, and gets even weirder toward the end when the boy starts seeing the beginnings of a 'pretty girl' in the now-12-year-old Ellen. It's all a little icky, to be honest.

53susanj67
Jan 30, 9:35am Top

>51 scaifea: Amber, that's amazing :-)

54scaifea
Jan 30, 9:38am Top

>53 susanj67: Susan: I know, right? He has much better eating habits instinctively than I do. Loves vegetables and not overly fond of sweets. So weird but so wonderful.

55Crazymamie
Jan 30, 9:42am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy new thread! I love the thread photos - so charming! You have a very good eye with the camera.

56scaifea
Jan 30, 9:43am Top

>55 Crazymamie: Aw, thanks, Mamie!

57Carmenere
Jan 30, 9:59am Top

Chilly greetings, Amber! Glad you are Charlie are snug as bugs. Bill and I are as well. Books, movies, hot chocolate yet the sunshine outside deceives me into believing it's a good day for a walk Ha!

58scaifea
Jan 30, 10:19am Top

>57 Carmenere: Lynda: Oooh, HoCho sound pretty amazing right now...

And don't give in to that tricky sunshine!! Ha! (Not a problem here - no sun so far!)

59jnwelch
Jan 30, 10:32am Top

Happy Mid-Week, Amber!

It's mighty cold here, but Madame MBH made avocado eggs to start the day, so that helps.

Hope you and the boys stay warm today.

60scaifea
Jan 30, 10:39am Top

>59 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! And thanks - sending those warm thoughts right back to you!

61laytonwoman3rd
Jan 30, 10:51am Top

Popping in here a bit late for all the Latin fun...but it was still fun. I got 'em all, and proudly. 'Cept I didn't know what "spadix" meant (and not familiar with the book--shame on me). It is "what do you see", right? That stuff sticks with you, apparently. I'd be rubbish at the grammar now.

62scaifea
Jan 30, 11:15am Top

>61 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Well done, you! Spadix = "brown."



Charlie has asked me to start teaching him Latin this summer...you could follow along...

63m.belljackson
Edited: Jan 30, 11:53am Top

>62 scaifea:

Learning Latin could be a fun new thread for many of us...

Gratias tibi!
(courtesy of word hippo)

64scaifea
Jan 30, 11:59am Top

65scaifea
Jan 30, 1:45pm Top

The school district just sent out a call - no school tomorrow, either! I get Charlie in the house two full days in a row! Love it.

Okay, let's try another Kid's Book Latin Challenge:

The handful I have left are a bit more obscure (read: not established 'classics' yet, but still pretty popular). This one's a line from a book in a series that Charlie and I absolutely love (hint: they're easy readers):

MEAM PILAM A ME ABSTULIT!

(There's a lot of shouting in these books...)

66m.belljackson
Edited: Jan 30, 2:42pm Top

>65 scaifea:

Well, it's clearly not "Where's Papa going with that ax?"

67alcottacre
Jan 30, 2:30pm Top

Checking in on thread number 3, Amber!

68scaifea
Jan 30, 2:30pm Top

69scaifea
Jan 30, 2:31pm Top

>67 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia!

70foggidawn
Jan 30, 2:33pm Top

>65 scaifea: I bet I know which series, but I'd have to cheat to figure out which book.

71scaifea
Jan 30, 2:40pm Top

>70 foggidawn: I would be surprised if you couldn't guess the series...

72scaifea
Jan 30, 2:41pm Top

I've been thinking that I miss the bonus questions, but I have trouble coming up with new ones every thread. Maybe instead, for each new thread I'll post a book title in Latin (not necessarily a kids' book) for you all to guess. Would there be interest in that game?

73lycomayflower
Jan 30, 2:58pm Top

74richardderus
Jan 30, 3:14pm Top


I'm crawling around the threads to say I'm not dead but woefully unread, both books and threads. Happy polar vortex.

75scaifea
Jan 30, 3:23pm Top

>73 lycomayflower: Laura: Aw, yay! Now I just need to remember that I'm going to do it...

>74 richardderus: Lookin' good, Richard!

76laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Jan 30, 3:29pm Top

>65 scaifea: "I lost my ball!" ?? and also,

>72 scaifea: YES!

77scaifea
Jan 30, 3:36pm Top

>76 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Oooh, close, but it's more sinister than that: "HE TOOK MY BALL!"

And yay!

78scaifea
Jan 30, 3:36pm Top

Hint for >65 scaifea: for those who want one:

It's from a book in the Elephant and Piggie series.

79EBT1002
Jan 30, 5:50pm Top

My cat Edgar used to be helpful just like Mario is helpful. He especially liked IKEA projects.... He would get right in the middle of it and help keep all the bits and bobs organized. Ha.

Being desperately badly read in children's and YA series, I have no idea but I did like the "Where's Papa going with that axe?" idea. :-)

Hoping for our meet up on Friday now that I am in Columbus where it is Darn. Cold!!!!

80m.belljackson
Jan 30, 6:55pm Top

>72 scaifea:

Add another Yes!

81laytonwoman3rd
Jan 30, 9:19pm Top

>77 scaifea: Mmmm...ok. I may have to take you up on that offer of a refresher course with Charlie. (I am pretty concerned that he will show me up, however.)

82scaifea
Jan 31, 8:26am Top

>80 m.belljackson: *grins*

>81 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Oh, I'm certain that we'll go pretty slow...

83scaifea
Jan 31, 8:29am Top

Welp, we've been without power since midnight, and AEP keeps pushing back the estimated fix time (it started out at 4:30am, then 7am, and now it's 9am...) We've got all the faucets dripping a bit and we're all huddled by the fireplace (which by itself is keeping the thermostat at a reasonable place), so so far we've okay, but wow. Not the best timing for a big power outage - 475 homes are out, they say. Please keep your fingers crossed that we get it back soon!

84Crazymamie
Jan 31, 8:37am Top

YIKES, Amber! Hoping they get your power restored very soon. Crossing my fingers for you and sending you warm thoughts. Thank goodness for the fireplace.

85drneutron
Jan 31, 9:04am Top

Yikes! I hope you're able to stay warm enough!

86lauralkeet
Jan 31, 9:07am Top

Oh no Amber, that's terrible. I really hope the power comes back soon.

87foggidawn
Jan 31, 10:16am Top

>83 scaifea: Oh no! So sorry to hear that you are without power. I'm very glad you have a fireplace to huddle by. If necessary, you can bring the whole crew to my house!

88katiekrug
Jan 31, 10:18am Top

Yikes! Fingers crossed you get your power back soon.

89laytonwoman3rd
Jan 31, 10:31am Top

Oh, mercy---losing power mid-winter is one of my nightmares. I'm glad you have a fireplace. Good luck with a swift return to modernity.

90charl08
Jan 31, 10:38am Top

Brrr! Hope the power is back soon.

91jnwelch
Jan 31, 10:42am Top

Whoa, fingers crossed your power comes back pronto, Amber. This is a scary time for that to happen. I'm glad the fireplace is helping. Sending lots of warm thoughts your way.

92RebaRelishesReading
Jan 31, 10:44am Top

Yikes! Hope you have plenty of wood, warm blankets, a gas stove for warm drinks and that the power comes back on SOON!

93FAMeulstee
Jan 31, 10:56am Top

Belated happy new thread, Amber!
I wasn't much around in the last week.
>5 scaifea: What lovely pictures of Charlie together with Mario, and Tuppence's paws and nose peaking!
I hope you get power back very soon!

94scaifea
Jan 31, 11:02am Top

Thanks, everyone, for the warm thoughts! The power is back on!! Whew! Boy, that was scary, honestly, but we're now really impressed with how well our little gas fireplace kept the whole house reasonably warm. Very good to know.

So, a bit of a late start to the day, and Tomm and I are exhausted, since we didn't really sleep after midnight much (Charlie slept through the whole thing until about 5am, which is his normal wake-up time). I may take a nap later this afternoon. I've got my menu planning for next week done and the grocery list ready for sometime tomorrow, and in a bit I'll brave the cold for a quick trip to the library (it's just a block away) to pick up the holds that are stacking up. Then I'll try to get some more work on the Latin book in, but we'll see how well that goes...

On the reading front:
I spent time with Crime and Punishment yesterday, and sat by a window this morning with If on a Winter's Night a Traveler.

95rosalita
Jan 31, 11:23am Top

So glad you've got power back, Amber! The past two nights with this brutal cold I found myself waking up every couple of hours and not being able to drift off again until I heard the furnace cycle on at least once. I cannot imagine what I would have done if it had conked out. But it's still plugging away, bless its mechanical little heart.

Oh, and I think a nap is definitely in order for you this afternoon!

96richardderus
Jan 31, 11:26am Top

>94 scaifea: What a scary thing to have cause you to know your heater is The Stuff! *smooch*

97scaifea
Jan 31, 11:50am Top

>95 rosalita: Julia: I know, right?! When the power blinked out at midnight (weirdly, *right* at 12:00), we both woke up because our phones pinged, and I panicked. This is our first winter in this house and I worried about the pipes and how fast we'd lose heat because it's *so* cold outside. Thank goodness for the fireplace!! And yeah, I'm already ready for that nap...

>96 richardderus: Richard: Exactly!

98lauralkeet
Jan 31, 12:55pm Top

i'm so glad things are back to normal Amber. And I hope you catch up on your sleep as well!

99BLBera
Jan 31, 12:59pm Top

Glad you got your power; it would be scary to be without it during this weather. A nap sounds like an excellent idea.

100scaifea
Jan 31, 1:17pm Top

>98 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura - me, too!

>99 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. It was definitely scary in the middle of the night!

101FAMeulstee
Jan 31, 2:22pm Top

Glad power is back, Amber. Did you miss me up there >93 FAMeulstee: typing at the same time?

102scaifea
Jan 31, 2:39pm Top

>101 FAMeulstee: Yep, it looks like I missed you - sorry, Anita!!

103EBT1002
Jan 31, 11:16pm Top

>83 scaifea: Oh no!! I did not know you were experiencing that today. I'm glad the power was back on before you got too far into this morning. Sheesh.

I hope you got a nap in today and the trip to the library.

I've set my alarm for the wonderfully late hour of 8am tomorrow. I'll certainly wake up before that but just in case...
If we are able to meet up, great, but this has been and continues to be such crazy weather. If we don't manage it this time, I will be back!! (You can count on it.)

We'll text in the morning.

I'm going to brush my teeth and settle in to read for a little while. I'm still attempting to get engrossed in The Power of the Dog. We'll see.

104scaifea
Feb 1, 5:24am Top

>103 EBT1002: Ellen: Well, it looks like we've got about four inches of snow on the ground this morning and it's still coming down, so I don't think I'll be making the commute in to the city today. Dang. I was so looking forward to meeting up with you! I do hope you'll be back!! I'll text you later this morning.

105scaifea
Feb 1, 5:41am Top

Yesterday was strange, with the all-nighter power outage and the late start to the day and Charlie being off school again (thank goodness!). It felt like a Sunday, really. My trip to the library was a bust, because they were closed for the weather - yoicks. I did manage to get some work done on the Latin book (chapter 15 is giving me fits, though), and I didn't take a nap (although I probably should have). I did get some reading in - If on a Winter's Night a Traveler is coming along, and my experience with it is getting stranger (more details with the eventual review). We ended the day with a Family Movie Night and watched X-Men 3 (Tomm has convinced Charlie and I to watch the X-Men movies with him - he's a fan and we're just being introduced).

I just got a call from the school district that school is closed again for today. What a crazy weather week this has been! I'm sad that I'll miss my meet-up with Ellen, which is really bumming me out (I was so excited!), and to a much lesser extent I'm annoyed that I probably won't be getting groceries later today, either - I don't take changed plans and schedules in stride very gracefully, folks. Gah. So, it looks like more work on the Latin book today, and I'm going to try to treat myself to a more than usual amount of Friday reading, too.

We read a new picture book last night, and it was a good one:

Flow, Spin, Grow: Looking for Patterns in Nature



It points out the similarities in the patterns of a tree, rivers, and the human body, along with the swirls in shells and galaxies. Fascinating, pitched just right for little ones, and the illustrations are lovely.

106msf59
Feb 1, 6:40am Top

Morning, Amber! Sorry to hear about all the weather related issues and a bummer about the Meet Up. It looks like Chicagoland will be back to normal today, with a near balmy 20F. Looking forward to the warmer temps and the rain.

107scaifea
Feb 1, 6:49am Top

>106 msf59: Morning, Mark! Yeah, I'm bummed about not being able to meet with Ellen. I'm glad to know that normal temps are maybe on their way, and I hope your workload today isn't to heavy.

108scaifea
Feb 1, 6:51am Top



14. Treasure of Green Knowe by L. M. Boston (Charlie's bedtime book, 214 pages) - 9/10 = A
Tolly spends his summer holiday at Green Knowe with his great-grandmother, befriends more of the house's ghosts and learns their stories.
I just love this series. So perfectly magic-in-the-everyday-ical. And I love that Charlie is enjoying it, too.

109alcottacre
Feb 1, 6:53am Top

Sorry to hear that the power was out, but very happy to hear it is back!

>108 scaifea: That is one of those books that I wished I had experienced as a child rather than as an adult. Still wonderful as an adult, but magic as a child, I would think!

110lauralkeet
Feb 1, 6:57am Top

I'm sorry you and Ellen won't be able to meet up. So close! Damned weather. It's really messed up your week hasn't it? I'm like you, I really hate it when my plans get changed on me. I hope you bounce back and have a good day despite all that.

111scaifea
Feb 1, 8:09am Top

>109 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia! The power was out for about ten hours! I'm so glad that it's back on and so grateful that we were able to stay warm!

And yes, I wish I'd discovered the Green Knowe books as a kid because I know I would have been absolutely entranced. I still love 'em now, though.

>110 lauralkeet: Laura: Me, too! I can't believe she's within 30 miles of me and I'm gonna miss seeing her! I'm really sad about it. This has definitely been a nutso week here. Tomm tried to go to work earlier, was back 25 minutes later saying that he only got 2 miles down the road before turning around! Yoicks.

112laytonwoman3rd
Feb 1, 9:09am Top

Feelin' your pain over rotten winter, and missing a meet-up, and Tomm not being able to go to work (how well--but not fondly!--I remember those "let's see if I can make it" days). Stay warm, and go with the flow.

113richardderus
Feb 1, 9:11am Top

Vortexpocalypse claims another kind of victim. I hate that you're not getting to experience the real-time pleasures of a meet-up.

114EBT1002
Feb 1, 9:15am Top

Hi Amber. I know we're both disappointed about today but I trust the universe to bring us another opportunity. I hope Ohio State hosts another of NASPA's meetings.

>108 scaifea: I'm reading The Penderwicks for the SeriesCAT -- this month is YA/Children's, which is of course outside my usual reading territory. It's cute so far and I'll probably finish it off pretty quickly, but I find myself wondering if I would have enjoyed the L.M. Boston series more. Have you and Charlie read The Penderwicks?

Hang in there, Amber. I love your plan to treat yourself to more-than-average reading time today. It's what makes sense when the weather is doing this to us!!!

115scaifea
Feb 1, 9:23am Top

>112 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: I'm so glad that I don't have to try to get to work anymore! Tomm has tried again now that they've started plowing, which is good, I guess, but leaves me with the sidewalk and driveway shoveling job. Woot.

>113 richardderus: Thanks, Richard.

>114 EBT1002: Ellen: I surely hope we'll get together at some point. I think we'd have a fabulous time.

I've not read The Penderwicks, but I've heard lots of good things about them. The Green Knowe series is just particularly special and so well written.

After shoveling, I'm definitely treating myself to some HoCho and some reading time!

116ChelleBearss
Feb 1, 10:11am Top

Happy new(ish) thread, Amber. I'm woefully behind here as usual!

117scaifea
Feb 1, 10:13am Top

>116 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle!

118jnwelch
Feb 1, 10:17am Top

Happy Friday, Amber!

Sorry to hear that the lousy weather blocked the meetup with Ellen. Another time. Enjoy being socked in. The weather is getting much better here, so I hope that improvement is headed your way.

119scaifea
Feb 1, 10:26am Top

>118 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! Happy Friday! Yep, we're stuck here for now, and aside from missing a meet-up with Ellen, I'm pretty okay with it. Charlie woke up with a sore throat, too, so it's good that he doesn't have school again, anyway. I do need to figure out how to get to the grocery shop at some point this weekend, and I'm really not thrilled with the idea of going tomorrow, the day before some big football To-Do. Ugh. Oh, well. I suppose I'll survive. Right now I'm sitting at my desk trying to get myself motivated to work and watching the birds in the snowy bushes just outside the window. Lovely and quiet out there.

120foggidawn
Feb 1, 10:58am Top

>119 scaifea: I have been known to go to the grocery story during the Big Football To-Do -- it's usually pretty peaceful, if you can wait that long.

121scaifea
Feb 1, 11:06am Top

>120 foggidawn: Oh, I used to be the Queen of Shopping During Football Games as a grad student at OSU. But, no, I suspect Tomm and Charlie would like something to eat tomorrow for dinner, so I need to go tomorrow, if not later today. Ick. If I can get myself up early tomorrow morning, maybe earlier will be better...

122foggidawn
Feb 1, 11:07am Top

>121 scaifea: I have several errands to do, but I've decided they can all wait until tomorrow.

123susanj67
Feb 1, 11:25am Top

Amber, that sounded like a scary power outage. And a long one. I read about the taps and wondered why, but then realised it was so the pipes wouldn't freeze (can you tell I live somewhere without much in the way of weather?). Thank goodness for the fireplace working so well - at least you know that now for the future, so that's one worry you won't have if it happens again. I hope the shoveling doesn't take too long.

124scaifea
Feb 1, 11:36am Top

>122 foggidawn: Smart thinking! I have my yoga pants one, which means I won't be leaving the house today, either.

>123 susanj67: It *was* scary, Susan, but we're so grateful for how well that fireplace works to keep the whole house comfortable! Whew!

125jnwelch
Feb 1, 12:05pm Top

I'll be watching that Big Football To-Do on Sunday. There was a great New Yorker cartoon a few years ago with three cavemen staring at a football-shaped object on the ground, and one of the cavewomen next to them saying to the others, "I don't know what it is, but they'll stare at it all day." :-)

126jnwelch
Edited: Feb 1, 12:06pm Top

Wow! A double post. I haven't had one of those in a long time. Nothing to see here, nothing to see. Move along, please.

127scaifea
Feb 1, 12:24pm Top

>125 jnwelch: Joe: Ha! Well, I hope you have an enjoyable football somethingorother!

>126 jnwelch: Two visits from Joe - I'll take it, even it if was a mistake!

128thornton37814
Feb 1, 1:49pm Top

I hear you all have a warming trend on the way. I'm certain you are ready for it! We had freezing rain a short while ago, but I think it's beginning to warm so that whatever is now falling is liquid.

129scaifea
Feb 1, 1:50pm Top

>128 thornton37814: Yep, it warmed up enough to dump 6 inches of snow this morning. Faaantastic. (Actual, I love the stuff, but it *has* complicated my grocery buying and that frustrates me.)

130jjmcgaffey
Feb 2, 12:04am Top

>108 scaifea: Oh, I love the Green Knowe series! I'm pretty sure I _haven't_ read all of them, but I've read a good many - most of them several times. Love Toby. Yes, it's that everyday magic feeling that makes it so wonderful. And now I want to read some again...and I only have a couple. Hmm...library, here I come!

131charl08
Feb 2, 6:47am Top

Hope the food shopping goes ok - from a fellow 'during the sporting event' shopper / cinema goer / practically anything apart from watch the thing!

132scaifea
Feb 2, 9:43am Top

>130 jjmcgaffey: Aren't they wonderful? I think there's only six in the series, but I could be wrong about that...

>131 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte! I was there at 8am this morning and it was practically empty! Yes!

133scaifea
Feb 2, 9:46am Top

Grocery shopping is done (got there at 8am and the place was deserted, which is my perfect shopping scenario) and in a few minutes I'm going to make another try at the library - they *should* be open today as the temperature isn't dangerously cold anymore and the roads are finally clear. Then I'll do some baking - Vanilla Bundt Cake - and likely devote the rest of the day to reading. Tonight, of course, will be our yearly viewing of Groundhog Day!

On the reading front:
I didn't actually manage to treat myself to a ton of reading time yesterday, since I hit a good stride with the Latin book and just kept on working until I had finished another chapter. I did read a few pages in The Fifth Elephant, though. Today I'll give some time to trying to finish up If on a Winter's Night a Traveler and then spend some time with The Name of the Wind, I think.

134ChelleBearss
Edited: Feb 2, 11:52am Top

I guess I live under a rock as I forgot about the football to-do for tomorrow! I may try and watch the halftime show if it's someone good. (I'm not sure who it is this year)

Enjoy your movie night! Groundhog day is a good-un! Our local(ish) critter did not see his shadow today.

135m.belljackson
Feb 2, 12:21pm Top

>133 scaifea:

In advance of your Groundhog Day viewing, here are 2 short stories:

A couple of days before today's Groundhog predictions, our little old Groundhog crawled out of his home under the old silo bed.
The sun had been blazing since dawn, so he saw his shadow and quickly disappeared, giving us 6 more weeks of Winter -
in wild contrast to Punx and Jimmy in Sun Prairie today. We shall see.

Many years ago, my 4th graders and I, joined by our two other 4th grade classes, would meet at 6:15 AM at LakeView Elementary in Madison.
With coffee-laden parents and teachers, we'd board the bus and head to Sun Prairie for the 7:15 prognostication.
Our most memorable trip was when we were greeted by Elvis who invited us to sing along with him on the radio.
To the amazement of listening parents at home, we belted out several choruses of "You Ain't Nothin' But a Groundhog!"

136scaifea
Feb 2, 2:03pm Top

>134 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle! I only know about the superbowl because I try to avoid the grocery crowds that weekend! Ha!

I'm looking forward to our movie night - it's one of my favorites!

>135 m.belljackson: Fun stories!

137scaifea
Feb 2, 2:07pm Top

Well, I still haven't gotten round to any reading yet today - I forgot that Charlie wanted to work on his Valentine box for school, so we've been doing that. The results:





He had the idea himself, drew his own concept sketches, and did nearly all of the work (I did the hot glue parts)!

138rosalita
Feb 2, 2:37pm Top

Oh my goodness, the teacher-bird at the blackboard and all the little student-birds are so adorable! I would give Charlie two valentines just for being so clever and creative!

139alcottacre
Feb 2, 3:02pm Top

>137 scaifea: Charlie sure is talented! I hope his Valentine box gets filled to the brim!

140scaifea
Feb 2, 3:39pm Top

>138 rosalita: Julia: I know, right?! I never would have come up with that idea myself, and especially not at a 10-year-old!

>139 alcottacre: Stasia: Aw, thanks! I'm sure it will!

141scaifea
Feb 2, 5:05pm Top



15. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books, 254 pages) - 8/10 = B+
A crazy ride of a story, in which the Reader is the main character who is simply trying to read a book, but who gets frustrated at every turn and by more and more outlandish disruptions. Each new manuscript promises to be the completion of the previous, but only introduces yet another new book, which, in turn, is cut short and unfinished. Chapters of this main plot (which also contains an Other Reader, with whom the Reader carries out a love story of sorts, and a romp of a detective story as well) alternate with the actual first chapters of the unfinished manuscripts, which themselves leave the (R/r)eader genuinely frustrated and wanting more.
In short, it's a hoot, although it does get a bit bogged down in its own absurdities toward the end, I feel. Think Inspector Clouseau meets Arabian Nights meets a Choose Your Own Adventure book in which all the choices are just tantalizingly out of your reach, and then throw in a healthy pinch of musings on the nature of readers, authors, books, and the act of reading itself.

142RebaRelishesReading
Feb 2, 8:25pm Top

Cute, cute valentine box.

143jjmcgaffey
Feb 3, 2:13am Top

>133 scaifea: Hmmm - are you a King Arthur fan? They've been pushing their Vanilla Bundt Cake a lot, recently... (I haven't quite been convinced, yet).

>141 scaifea: Oh! I hadn't realized it was an Italo Calvino book. I've read and reread his Cosmicomics - also a weird and wonderful story, or set of stories. But most of those have conclusions, of some sort. It's about physics the way this sounds to be about reading...I may have to pick up If On a Winter's Night, though it doesn't sound like something I'd want to read more than once.

>137 scaifea: Lovely!

144scaifea
Feb 3, 8:58am Top

>142 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: Didn't he do a great job? There's no way mine would have looked that good at that age, and honestly all I did was the hot glue gunning for him.

>143 jjmcgaffey: Jennifer: Ha! It *is* the King Arthur Flour recipe, from the most recent catalog! So funny. It's really good, but not what I would call a traditional cake - the texture is more like a cornbread, but I LOVE that about it.

I've only read one other Calvino, and it was just a collection of traditional folktales, so not really full-on Calvino. I was worried at first that I'd be annoyed at him trying to be clever, and he did walk a fine line with this one, but in the end he stayed on the line, I guess.

And thanks! I'll have to let Charlie know that you all like his Valentines box!

145scaifea
Edited: Feb 3, 9:07am Top

Well, I didn't have an all-afternoon reading fest yesterday, but I still got enough time in the rocking chair to finish up the Calvino, and hopefully today I'll get a little time to read, too. First, though, there's laundry and some baking - I made Apple Bran Muffins for breakfast (one of Charlie's favorites - again, he's such an old man), and then Charlie and I are going to make some Rustic Italian Bread today, plus I'd like to maybe make some cookies, too (Chewy Chai Snickerdoodles).

On the reading front:
After finishing up the Calvino, I started the first of the Newbery Honor Books for this year (I requested all the Caldecott and Newbery winners (and a couple from the other awards) on Monday after the announcements and they're started to pour in!), The Night Diary, which is pretty good so far. And last night we read the picture book (not an award winner, as far as I know, but still pretty great), The Diamond and the Boy, which tells the parallel stories of how a diamond is formed and mined, and how H. Tracy Hall rose from poor and humble beginnings to invent a way to create man-made diamonds. Very cool stuff and well told.

146scaifea
Feb 3, 3:20pm Top

Reading Update:
Well, I started Walford, struggled through 40 pages, and called it quits. The writing it just awful and I don't have time for it. I won't count it toward my running total, but I *am* still counting it as my February TBRCAT, because suffering through 40 pages of that is worth counting for something. Ew.

147Copperskye
Feb 3, 5:27pm Top

Oh dear, so scary to have the power out especially when it was so cold! Glad it didn’t last longer than it did.

>137 scaifea: What a beautiful box! Absolutely precious! I miss those days of little classroom valentines and candies. Good times!

148scaifea
Feb 3, 6:07pm Top

>147 Copperskye: Joanne: It *was* scary, and could have turned out so much worse that it did!

I know, right? I love the classroom parties and such. So fun.

149jjmcgaffey
Feb 3, 11:44pm Top

>144 scaifea: Hmm, cornbread texture? You're moving me towards making it... I get their email newsletter too, and they've had it featured a couple times recently. I don't have a bundt pan, so I'd have to bake it in something else.

150banjo123
Feb 3, 11:52pm Top

Hope the weather thaws for you soon! Great valentine's box.

151richardderus
Feb 4, 12:30am Top

How much I loved The African Queen, and its stars, and its astounding ability to convince my air-conditioned Texan body that I was in fact in World War I Equatorial Africa sweating and...

...TMI, sorry, I was reading The Making of The African Queen by Katharine Hepburn and decided to write a review of it.

152scaifea
Feb 4, 5:17am Top

>149 jjmcgaffey: Hm, I think you'll need to adjust the baking time a bit if you use a different kind of pan...

>150 banjo123: Hi, Rhonda! Well, yesterday was in the 50s (!), so most of that 5-6 inches is gone now! Crazy weather.

>151 richardderus: Hi, Richard!

153scaifea
Edited: Feb 4, 5:23am Top

Yesterday was full of baking and reading and it was lovely. We ended the day with one of my favorite meals, Florentine Chicken Soup and Italian Bread:



After several days of yoga pants, I have some errands to run today (library, post office,...), which means I need to put on actual pants today. Woot. I may try to spend some time in the sewing room today, to, and then ballet class for Charlie tonight.

On the reading front:
After the Walford disaster, I started reading Next of Kin, which is, of course, excellent so far, and I read a bit of The Night Diary before bed last night.

154jnwelch
Feb 4, 8:52am Top

Morning, Amber!

I don't know Walford, but now I know enough to avoid it. Yuck. Sounds awful. I'm glad you have a John Boyne to help you get rid of the bad taste.

Nice placecard in >153 scaifea:. :-)

155Crazymamie
Feb 4, 10:07am Top

Morning, Amber! I have to put actual pants on today, too. *sad face* Your dinner looks lovely and most yum. And we LOVE Charlie's Valentine box!!

156RebaRelishesReading
Feb 4, 10:39am Top

Sounds like life is getting back to normal so I'm guessing (hoping) it's warming up a bit?

157scaifea
Feb 4, 10:55am Top

>154 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! The Walford book was one that I had tracked down for my mom: we were talking about how *her* mom had named one of her older brothers after a character in a book (Rexford), but she (my mom) had never known what book. Apparently my grandma used to read the popular stuff of the day, and so I did a little research based on when my uncle was born and the popular books around that time, and then which of those had a character named Rexford. This is what I came up with as a likely candidate. My mom read it a couple of years ago and said is wasn't great, but I was still curious. Not curious enough to finish it, though. Ugh.

And thanks! Charlie makes us place settings for each new season - the other side has wintery decorations.

>155 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Oh no - I'm sorry you have to suffer through a Real Pants Day, too! And yes, that dinner is one of my favorites - so delicious and pretty easy, too. I'll try to remember to post the recipe later on.

Isn't that Valentines box great! I think he did a fabulous job.

>156 RebaRelishesReading: Hi, Reba! You could say that it's warming up - it's suppose to get close to 60F today (!?)

158RebaRelishesReading
Feb 4, 11:20am Top

>157 scaifea: Wow! That's some warm up! Our weather report was talking about some places being 80 degrees warmer in just a couple of days, guess you're going to get close.

159scaifea
Feb 4, 12:47pm Top

>158 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: Yep and I'm paying for it now - over the last couple of hours I've developed a really nasty headache! It must be the weather, I think. AWESOME.

160RebaRelishesReading
Feb 4, 5:05pm Top

>159 scaifea: Sorry about the headache! I think there must be a lot of slush and muck out there too, right? Meanwhile we're having a nice wet winter. The third storm in a week is adding to the total today. Hooray!

161scaifea
Feb 4, 5:24pm Top

>160 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: Oh, yes. Our back yard is a swamp. A cold, wintry swamp. Ugh. But yay for the rain where you are!

162scaifea
Feb 5, 5:28am Top

By the end of the day yesterday, both Charlie and I were exhausted - his first day back to school since last Tuesday plus ballet class, and my errands and real pants just tuckered us both out. Hopefully we're back in the swing of things for today. For me, it'll be treadmilling, writing, and maybe some time in the sewing room.

On the reading front:
I took The Name of the Wind with me to Charlie's ballet class and then read a few more pages of The Night Diary before bed. Charlie and I read Alma and How She Got Her Name (one of this year's Caldecott Honor Books) last night, too. A sweet story about a father explaining the history behind his daughter's long name, changing her mind from thinking it's long and awkward to loving it and the past it encompasses.

163BBGirl55
Feb 5, 6:15am Top

Morning Amber! Charlies Valantine box is fantastic. Just to let you know there is a vote going on over on my thread!

164scaifea
Feb 5, 6:18am Top

>163 BBGirl55: Thanks, Bryony!

165msf59
Edited: Feb 5, 6:59am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Tuesday. Hope the week is off to a good start. I know a couple of others have been warbling about it, but I want to also recommend The Calculating Stars to you. A really fun, alternate history story and it is working well on audio too. Just sayin'...

166scaifea
Feb 5, 6:45am Top

>165 msf59: Morning, Mark! Thanks for the recommendation!

167alcottacre
Feb 5, 6:55am Top

>141 scaifea: I agree with everything you said about that book!

Happy Tuesday, Amber!

168jnwelch
Edited: Feb 5, 7:17am Top

Good morning, Amber!

We head to the airport to fly to LA soon. I'll join Mark and Mamie (who got me interested) in recommending The Calculating Stars. It's a fun one which also has some overcoming the 1950s racism and patriarchy to it. I'm going to take a break from Educated while we're away and read a Dick Francis mystery for the group read.

169scaifea
Feb 5, 7:31am Top

>167 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia! I'm glad you liked the Calvino, too!

>168 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Apparently I do need to get my hands on The Calculating Stars! And also Educated!

Safe travels today, friend! Tomm's in the LA area right now on business...

170ChelleBearss
Feb 5, 12:39pm Top

>137 scaifea: That's awesome! Good job, Charlie

171scaifea
Feb 5, 12:56pm Top

>170 ChelleBearss: Chelle: He likely only has this year and next year (5th grade) for Valentine boxes and parties before middle school. *sigh* I love that he loves these sorts of projects so much.

172Carmenere
Feb 5, 1:17pm Top

Oh my goodness! I've missed so much since my last visit. Sounds like things are back to normal at the Scaifea's. Isn't it crazy how our lives become disrupted when the power is out, when the internet is out. In this case, all of you were safe and cozy and tis all that matters.

173scaifea
Feb 5, 1:25pm Top

>172 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda! Ha! Well, yes, I suppose it has been fairly eventful here. Safe and cozy we were, and thank goodness! The eventfulness has calmed down now - nothing but a currently-2-day-run of headache for me (I blame the insane temperature changes and the misty drizzle outside).

174Crazymamie
Feb 5, 1:35pm Top

Happy Tuesday, Amber! Welcome to my headache - mine is still ongoing, too, and I am convinced it is weather related. I see my work is done regarding The Calculating Stars since Mark and Joe have already been here.

175scaifea
Feb 5, 2:08pm Top

>174 Crazymamie: I've been thinking of you these past couple of days, knowing that you've been suffering with a similar kind of headache. Ooof. I hope we're both better soon! And yay for book recommendations! I love it when people recommend books to me; it feels like another way of saying, "You're my friend and I like you." Makes me happy.

176scaifea
Feb 6, 5:21am Top

Yesterday was mostly spent between writing and taking Grace and Frankie breaks to give my headache a rest. Last night we watched The Iron Giant (Charlie hadn't watched it before) and I forgot how much that one makes me cry, so we followed it with an episode of Queer Eye for good measure. Today should be more of the same, minus the headache breaks (it seems to be gone this morning, so fingers crossed it says gone), and if I finish the current chapter I'm working on, I'll move down to the sewing room for a bit this afternoon, maybe.

On the reading front:
Yesterday was time spent with Crime and Punishment (so intense, that one, and so good so far) and The Night Diary, which is good but not extra-fabulous yet.

177Crazymamie
Feb 6, 8:23am Top

>175 scaifea: I feel the same way about book recommendations - always makes me smile BIG. And thanks for thinking of me. Crossing my fingers that your headache stays gone. Mine is SO much better today.

Hoping your Wednesday is full of wonder!

178scaifea
Feb 6, 11:14am Top

>177 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! My headache is better today, too! I'm giving Friday side eye, though, since it's supposed to drop from the 60s into the 20s for the high, so I'm sure that headache will try to come back...

179laytonwoman3rd
Feb 6, 11:24am Top

Glad the headache is gone. I need to get back to Grace and Frankie; I watched part of the first season a long time ago, and then let it languish, for some reason.

180scaifea
Feb 6, 11:25am Top

>179 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: I'm completely addicted. I aspire to be Lily Tomlin's character in so many ways.

181richardderus
Feb 6, 12:46pm Top

Hi Amber, nothing new to report. No headache, gratitude to goddesses, no ice or snow, see previous response, so I'm happily reading away.

182rosalita
Feb 6, 2:02pm Top

>176 scaifea: I haven't had a chance to watch any of the new season of "Grace and Frankie" yet! I keep forgetting it's there. It is such a hoot.

183scaifea
Feb 6, 2:07pm Top

>182 rosalita: Julia: Isn't it? I'm so in love with that show.

184scaifea
Feb 6, 2:28pm Top

I finished a knitting project recently - an H Is for Harry (Potter) sweater. It came out, well, just a bit wonky, but that seems in the spirit of a Mrs. Weasley sweater:



Next up for the knitting needles (well, besides the baby blanket I'm also knitting) will be a pair of socks for myself using this self-striping yarn:

185foggidawn
Feb 6, 2:40pm Top

>184 scaifea: Wow, that sweater is amazing! I love it!

186scaifea
Feb 6, 2:56pm Top

>185 foggidawn: Thanks! I love a good old oversized heathered-yarn pullover. So cozy.

187scaifea
Feb 7, 5:27am Top

We're facing another rainy day here, and after doing the menu planning and grocery list prep work, I think I'll spend most of it in the sewing room.

On the reading front:
I spent time with The Fifth Elephant and The Night Diary yesterday and I'm hoping to finish up the latter today. Charlie and I read one of the Caldecott Honor Books last night - Thank You, Omu! and it was a sweet one, with lovely collage illustrations:

188richardderus
Feb 7, 12:37pm Top

>187 scaifea: I love the illos, they're so emotionally resonant.

Happy not-much-of-a-day, Amber.

189Morphidae
Feb 7, 1:05pm Top

Every time I see that you are reading The Night Diary, I keep thinking it's The Night Circus. Have you read that one?

I'm SO glad to hear your mom is better (caught up on old thread.) Are the meds continuing to help?

I don't think Charlie's hair is all THAT long. Unless you are in a particularly conservative area?

190scaifea
Feb 7, 1:45pm Top

>188 richardderus: Richard: Charlie and I had a cool discussion last night about the illustrations in this one; he's a big fan of the collage effect. It's rainy here, but in a nice, quiet way, and it's a great day to be in my sewing room (and I have been for most of the day so far).

>189 Morphidae: Morphy! I've not read The Night Circus yet, and it's been on The List for ages. Must get there soon.

Thanks for the good thoughts about my mom. The meds are helping her SO MUCH and we're all so grateful! She's said many times already that she can't believe how much they're helping her and that she wishes she's listened to me and my brothers earlier! (We've been trying to get her to ask her doc about anti-depressants for months.)

Charlie's hair: Well, it's not *not* long, and he's at an age where sometimes it's honestly not that easy to tell. Still, the assumptions can be patience-testing. *shrug*

191jnwelch
Feb 7, 6:32pm Top

Oh, you'll love Night Circus, Amber. I was skeptical, but Becca and Debbi convinced me to read it - and they were right.

192Berly
Feb 7, 10:53pm Top

>168 jnwelch: I just finished the first Dick Francis for the group read (Nerve). I haven't read any of his in years, but I used to love them. I hadn't read this one and it was fun to get back in.

Oh, I really need to get to Frankie and Gracie. Hubby didn't like it too much, but I should remember it for when I get to watch TV alone. : )

>184 scaifea: Love the sweater! Don't you think it will look okay once it's on?

The Night Circus is wonderful! One of my favorites. Get to it soon!

So glad the meds are helping your mom. Phew.

Happy Friday!

193fairywings
Feb 8, 12:29am Top

De lurking to add my push for The Night Circus, it is a wonderful book. Nobody that I've recommended it to was disappointed.

194scaifea
Feb 8, 5:21am Top

>191 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I'll get there with The Night Circus eventually.

>192 Berly: Kim: I've tried Francis before, but he's really not my thing. I'm happy that others enjoy him, though!

The sweater looks fine on - the wonkiness is that I wanted it to be wider and somehow that translated into longer. *shrug*

Happy Friday to you, too!

>193 fairywings: It's definitely on the list!

195scaifea
Feb 8, 5:26am Top

Yesterday was rainy and dreary outside, but I was happily sewing away and made good progress on my current project: I've been deconstructing men's old ties and sewing them into strips, and now I'm using the resulting 'fabric' to make a test zipper pouch and I'm very pleased with how it's coming along. I think I may add it to the list of things I want to stock in my shop. Today will be filled with grocery shopping, bills, a bit of cleaning, baking (chocolate cupcakes, by Charlie request), and a trip to our two libraries.

On the reading front:
I used my reading time yesterday on Next of Kin and also finished up The Night Diary (mini-review to come).

196scaifea
Feb 8, 7:50am Top



16. The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Newbery Honor Book, 258 pages) - 8/10 = B
In 1947, a young girl follows her father, brother, and grandmother as they walk from the newly-named Pakistan to India, forced to do so because of their identity as Hindus. Nisha chronicles the journey through her diary entries, addressed to her dead mother.
I wanted to like this one more than I did, because it tells an important story, and also because I think introducing kids to life stories other than those they immediately relate to is crucial. But for some reason the writing just didn't grab me the way I think it should have.

197alcottacre
Feb 8, 7:54am Top

>184 scaifea: Love the sweater! A little wonkiness - not that I can see any - never hurt anyone. I also love the yarn for the socks. I hope you post how they turn out.

>196 scaifea: Too bad about the writing in that one, but I am adding it to the BlackHole anyway. I know virtually nothing about the division of Pakistan and India.

198scaifea
Feb 8, 7:59am Top

>197 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia! I'm loving how the socks are starting to knit up, too. I love self-striping yarn - it's so fun to watch it make its patterns! I'll definitely post the results.

It's worth a read, and the writing isn't any ways near awful. It's just that it's one of this year's Newbery Honor Books, and I hold those to ridiculously high standards and so I wanted to be blown away by it. I did learn quite a bit about the creation of Pakistan that I didn't have a clue about before, and for that reason I think it's a good book for kids. I think I just wanted the characters to be more vivid, maybe.

199Crazymamie
Feb 8, 9:47am Top

Morning, Amber! I'm another who loved The Night Circus. And that sweater!! So full of fabulous! Can't wait to see your socks - you have mad skills, my friend.

200RebaRelishesReading
Feb 8, 10:29am Top

>198 scaifea: I'm also a big fan of self-striping yarn. You can get interesting pattern and color without all of those *@%! ends to work in.

201m.belljackson
Feb 8, 10:49am Top

>195 scaifea:

If your shop is online, can you post the link again?

Thank you - for sweaters, long can be really welcome in these frigid climes.

202scaifea
Feb 8, 11:18am Top

>199 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! Thanks, lady!!

>200 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: Oh, I know, right?! Those ends are The. Worst.

>201 m.belljackson: Here's the link:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/elizaandelectra

I don't have a ton of stuff listed at the moment, but I'm working on getting more up, eventually...

203richardderus
Feb 8, 1:58pm Top

>196 scaifea: That's a story that never quite gets told to its best advantage, I've noticed. Midnight's Children is still the closest thing to a full version of the tale that I've read. Sort of given up on them, I must say, since there's such huge animosity about that passage in the country's history. That doesn't lead to what I'm looking for, a personal but unpolemical view of the event.

204scaifea
Feb 8, 2:42pm Top

>203 richardderus: Richard: Well, of course this one, as a children's book, doesn't go into much detail about the strife and side-steps the political aspect almost entirely, which is fine because, again, children's book. I've had the Rushdie book on my list for ages; I should try to move it up.

205scaifea
Feb 8, 2:45pm Top

The results of my tinkering with using upcycled men's ties to make other stuff - here's my first try at a zipper pouch with them, and I'm pretty much pleased. I even picked out the ties I though the ugliest from my stash (in case the thing didn't turn out at all) and I still really like how it turned out. The lining is made from a men's button-down:



206richardderus
Feb 8, 2:46pm Top

>205 scaifea: That's lovely! Brava.

207scaifea
Feb 8, 2:57pm Top

>206 richardderus: Thanks, Richard!

208foggidawn
Feb 8, 3:27pm Top

209m.belljackson
Feb 8, 3:47pm Top

>205 scaifea:

Unique, balanced in color and form, and inviting!

210scaifea
Feb 8, 3:55pm Top

211bell7
Edited: Feb 8, 4:02pm Top

Nice job on the sweater and the bag!

Was the sweater from Charmed Knits? I did one like that awhile ago and the friend I made it for teases me that the neck is big enough to fit a melon so I'd agree it's a little wonky. (Also, I'm hardly experiences in sweater making)

Edited to get the touchstone to work

212Morphidae
Feb 8, 4:28pm Top

>205 scaifea: Wow, nice! I have to admit there was a bit of WTHing going on when you first described what you were making. Now that I see it though, I love it! You could make bags or clutches, too, you think? Or book covers? OOOooooOOoh.

213scaifea
Feb 8, 4:58pm Top

>211 bell7: Thanks, Mary! Yes, it is from Charmed Knits, and I have to say that some of their patterns are not fabulous (this one included).

>212 Morphidae: Morphy: *snork!* I love that I made you WTH! And yes, I could certainly do book covers...

214richardderus
Edited: Feb 8, 5:06pm Top

Oh hey...can you do a book cover with a tie as a bookmark? And a built-in front pocket for glasses?

215fairywings
Feb 8, 5:10pm Top

>205 scaifea: That looks awesome. Has me thinking of all the ways I could use something like that.

216scaifea
Feb 8, 6:08pm Top

>214 richardderus: Richard: Whoawhoawhoa, there. Let's not get crazy. *grins*

>215 fairywings: Oh, I love these kinds of zipper pouches - so many uses for them!

217drneutron
Feb 8, 9:03pm Top

Mrsdrneutron has a purse made of old ties that was pretty neat. I showed her your pic, she thought it looked great!

218Berly
Feb 8, 9:13pm Top

>205 scaifea: Love this!! I would buy one. : )

219jnwelch
Feb 9, 12:34am Top

>205 scaifea: Jeez Louise you're talented, Amber. That's really great.

220laytonwoman3rd
Feb 9, 7:42am Top

>205 scaifea: I would absolutely buy such a pouch...maybe a couple. I don't collect purses, but I do have a LOT of pouches, and I use them for all sorts of things. And gifts.... Gotta say, I think Richard is on to something, though...maybe for special orders only?

221scaifea
Feb 9, 8:12am Top

>217 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! And thanks to Mrsdrneutron, too!

>218 Berly: Thanks, Kim! It's good to hear that I may be able to sell them if I decide to put them in the shop!

>219 jnwelch: Aw, thanks, Joe!

>220 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: I'm happy to know that they seem marketable! And maybe if I can get caught up with the other shop projects, I'll sketch out a plan for a book cover/ereader cover...

222scaifea
Edited: Feb 9, 8:21am Top

Yesterday was tiring with all the errands, but I got everything on my To Do List finished and I feel accomplished! I also tried a new recipe for dinner - Lemon Basil Chicken - and it turned out great, so overall it was a pretty fantastic day! All this means that I didn't get much reading time in, but I did manage to start The Poet X last night, which is good so far.

Today will be filled with laundry, vacuuming (which I may delegate to the Scaife Men), baking (Valentine cookies and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread), and a quick trip to the post office. Tomm and I are going to a friend's house for drinks tonight and the in-laws are coming to stay with Charlie. We'll see how that goes.

We read another of this year's Caldecott Honor Books last night - The Rough Patch. My favorite of the list this year; in fact I like it more than the actual medal winner. A fox and his dog are inseparable, working in his garden together and enjoying a beautiful friendship until, well, it ends. The fox goes through a devastating mourning period, reflected in how he lets the garden grow in weeds. But there's a lovely, happy ending, and it's a beautifully done book. Definitely recommended.

223Morphidae
Feb 9, 12:22pm Top

>222 scaifea: Huh. How does Charlie feel about being left with the trolls? (Heh.)

224jnwelch
Feb 9, 1:39pm Top

Hooray for The Poet X! I'm glad it's started out well for you.

I'm going to try to track down The Rough Patch at the library. Good mini-review.

225scaifea
Feb 9, 5:07pm Top

>224 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I thought of you as I started that one, knowing that you really liked it. And do see if you can find The Rough Patch - I think you'll love it.

226jennyifer24
Edited: Feb 10, 11:20am Top

Stopping by to share in your Caldecott reading. We did mock Caldecott in my classroom this year (although it was quite disrupted by weather). We're finally getting around to voting and watching the results Monday, so since I heard ahead I was able to sneak in a few winners I hadn't already planned to read. I'm still waiting on holds for The Rough Patch and Alma and How She Got her Name- sounds like we won't be disappointed! Thank You Omu and A Big Mooncake for Little Star were both big hits, and I think Hello Lighthouse will probably make my top 5 list but not my students' (I'm trying hard to vote without thinking about what's won :-) )

I also love your tie pouches!!

227Familyhistorian
Feb 9, 11:16pm Top

That is a skookum Valentine Box. Charlie has a good eye for design - bet he gets that from his mom.

228scaifea
Feb 10, 7:56am Top

>226 jennyifer24: Aw, yay for mock Caldecotts! So fun. I was a little disappointed in A Big Mooncake for Little Star, to be honest. And prepare yourself for The Rough Patch...

And thanks!!

>227 Familyhistorian: Meg: Thanks! I'll pass on the compliment! He's pretty proud of that box, as he should be!

229msf59
Feb 10, 8:00am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Sunday. Enjoy your day at the Scaife Manor. And hooray for The Poet X. I really enjoyed that one.

230scaifea
Feb 10, 8:05am Top

Well, our night out was a success: Tomm and I had a great time with our friends. They mix some pretty amazing cocktails (they made me some sort of blackberry, vodka, lemon juice, bitters somethingorother, with the blackberries from their own backyard, and it was FABULOUS) and it was really fun catching up with them - he's a physics professor at OSU and she's the interim provost at another college close by. And Charlie says he had a nice time with the grandparents with no major incidents. So it's all good.

Today will be filled with more laundry, tax stuff (Ooof. Tomm has most of it already done but I need to add my etsy stuff.), possibly some more baking (Southern Buttermilk Biscuits to go with dinner (Slow Cooked BBQ Pork Chops & Peppers) and maybe a loaf of Italian Bread for good measure), and then hopefully plenty of reading time. Yesterday I spent time on both Next of Kin and The Poet X and hope to do the same today.

231scaifea
Feb 10, 8:05am Top

>229 msf59: Morning, Mark! The Poet X is fantastic so far!

232susanj67
Feb 10, 8:33am Top

Amber, did you see that the Thoughts of Dog/We Rate Dogs guy is releasing a new game? https://www.chroniclebooks.com/we-rate-dogs-the-card-game.html It involves rating dogs for things like floof and boopability, but says that every dog will get at least 10/10 :-)

I hope you get the tax stuff done, and you can then exist in a state of zen :-)

233katiekrug
Feb 10, 9:13am Top

Sounds like a nice evening out, and the cocktail sounds delicious!

Yes, talk of cocktails causes instant delurking on my part ;-)

234Crazymamie
Feb 10, 12:24pm Top

I also think the cocktail sounds most yum. And I really LOVE the zipper pouch made out of ties - I would buy that!

Definitely always delegate the vacuuming to the menfolk.

Hoping your Sunday is full of happy!

235scaifea
Feb 10, 12:46pm Top

>232 susanj67: Susan: I *did* see the dogrates game! It looks cute.

Tomm is finally done with his side of the taxes (I thought he was before, but apparently not) so I'm just now sitting down to my part. Fingers crossed that I don't get too frustrated...

>233 katiekrug: Katie: Ha! I love that cocktail talk brings you out of the woodwork! And yes, it was amazing.

>234 Crazymamie: Mamie: I do hope we hang out with them again soon, and not only because of the cocktails (although that *is* a significant part of it...).

And thanks! I'm so happy that folks seem to like the zipper pouch. It's encouraging!

Menfolk did indeed take over the vacuuming yesterday and I love it. Tomm also showed Charlie how to clean his own bathroom, and Charlie was so proud when he was finished.

236jnwelch
Feb 10, 1:04pm Top

Have a great Sunday, Amber.

Menfolk took over the vacuuming? You must have have amazing mystical powers. The dogs and I run when a vacuum cleaner shows up. Our son uses a Roomba. I like that idea. :-)

237Morphidae
Feb 10, 5:16pm Top

I just spent an hour on the We Rate Dogs Twitter account. I don't do Twitter. I don't even have account myself. Why do you do this to me? *whines*

238scaifea
Feb 10, 5:41pm Top

>236 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! Ha! I think a roomba wouldn't last too long in this house. The dogs would feel the need to protect us from it.

>237 Morphidae: Morphy: Isn't it great?! Even better is the Thoughts of Dog twitter account...

239jnwelch
Feb 11, 1:01am Top

>238 scaifea: Ha! Son #1 has two dogs, but I think he closes the door and keeps them out when the Roomba is cleaning.

Not too long from now, we'll probably just set the dial to "Clean" for our houses, and they'll clean themselves while we're out. We'll still have to figure out the dog part though.

240scaifea
Feb 11, 5:19am Top

>239 jnwelch: Joe: I don't know about a "clean" dial, but I'm still waiting for my Rosie (from the Jetsons)...

241scaifea
Edited: Feb 11, 5:27am Top

As it turns out, Tomm was working on taxes nearly all day yesterday, but thankfully my part only took about an hour, so I managed to get some good reading in, too. I'm over halfway through Next of Kin now, which is intense and very fun so far, and I'm nearly at the end of The Poet X, which is absolutely fantastic.

I'm waiting to see if there will be a school delay this morning - we have more snow, again, and they were predicting icy conditions for the morning hours, too. Otherwise, it should be a fairly normal day of treadmilling, laundry, and writing, and Charlie's ballet class tonight.

We also read a lovely picture book last night, I Am Human: A Book of Empathy. Beautiful illustrations, with a message to match.



ETA: Yup, just got the phone call - two-hour delay.

242drneutron
Feb 11, 9:43am Top

Yeah, I did our taxes this weekend. It wasn’t pretty, mainly because I didn’t adjust my withholding after the changes last year. Will be doing that first thing tomorrow... 😀

Glad you two had a good night out! We’ve been enjoying some great cocktails lately. DC area restaurants are doing some fun stuff. My recent favorite was a McBain (as in Ed McBain) at the Watergate Hotel - a fancied up Manhattan.

243richardderus
Feb 11, 9:52am Top

Night out = good; taxes = stressful; I Am Human = sweet; you = irreplaceable.

244scaifea
Feb 11, 9:58am Top

>242 drneutron: Jim: I'm glad the taxes are finished. It was a rough one, this year, because of the move and my Etsy shop, trying to figure out how to split the income between WI and OH - TurboTax kept thinking that I had a warehouse in Ohio while in WI, or something. Yeesh. Also, because while in WI Tomm actually worked in IA, we had to fill out THREE state returns this year. YOICKS.

I've been inspired by our cocktail-making friends to research some good recipes for Tomm and I to try at home. I love the idea of the McBain!

>243 richardderus: Aw, thanks, Richard!!

245scaifea
Feb 11, 9:59am Top



17. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Printz Award, 357 pages) - 9/10 = A
A fabulous and fabulously-told story in free verse of Xiomara, a Dominican American teen trying to find her voice as a poet, trying to find her way through her first relationship with a boy, working through her resistance to confirmation classes and her mother's strict faith, and figuring out how to show her twin brother her support as he negotiates his own issues with their strict family and his identity.
This Printz Award winner absolutely deserves the honor. It's an important story and I love that such a character is given a strong voice. I hope that tons of high school students get this one in their hands.

246jnwelch
Feb 11, 10:05am Top

>245 scaifea: Yes! Totally agree.

Happy Pre-Tuesday, Amber. We head back today, darn it. I mean, can't wait.

247scaifea
Feb 11, 10:16am Top

>246 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! If you hadn't found it first, I would definitely be recommending the Acevedo to you!

248jnwelch
Feb 11, 10:31am Top

>247 scaifea: :-) Ha! Perfect. I look forward to word of its splendor spreading.

249laytonwoman3rd
Feb 11, 11:11am Top

>239 jnwelch: Having spent a part of yesterday afternoon scrubbing the tops of cabinet doors in my kitchen (the stuff that collects up there!), I would love that automatic self-cleaning house. My manfolk, however, has been doing vacuuming on a regular basis for many many years.

250Crazymamie
Feb 11, 11:20am Top

Morning, Amber! Nice review of The Poet X - Joe already hit me with that one, so it's one The List.

251scaifea
Feb 11, 12:11pm Top

>248 jnwelch: Joe: As Mark would say, B.A.G.!

>249 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Cleaning the tops of the cabinets? Well, aren't we an overachiever. We've only been in this house since August, so I think mine are good for a while yet...

>250 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Yes!! I hope you love it!

252drneutron
Feb 11, 12:58pm Top

>244 scaifea: I’ve got a gin and tonic recipe I’m perfecting:

Tall glass, filled with ice. Pour 1/2 oz of elderflower liqueur in. Then 1.5 or 2 oz of gin on top (I like Bombay Sapphire, but Mrsdrneutron prefers something less juniper-y like Gordon’s). Fill the glass with tonic, squirt a little lemon juice on top and give it a quick stir.

Just for something different, you can make the same recipe with rum instead of gin for a sweeter taste. I’ve also used lemoncello instead of lemon juice.

One of the neat things about this is the elderflower liqueur stays on the bottom and makes a nice final sweet sip to the drink.

253scaifea
Feb 11, 1:06pm Top

>252 drneutron: Jim: Ooooh, that sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing your recipe! I do love a good lemoncello, and the elderflower sounds delicious!

254SandDune
Feb 11, 2:07pm Top

>238 scaifea: I think a roomba wouldn't last too long in this house. The dogs would feel the need to protect us from it.

Daisy once encountered one of those automatic lawnmower things at a friend's house - like a Roomba but for grass (I don't know what they are called). She clearly found it quite worrying - I think she couldn't work out if it was alive or not.

255scaifea
Feb 11, 2:53pm Top

>254 SandDune: Rhian: Ha! Tuppence attacks our regular vacuum, so I assume she'd be just as aggressive, if not more, with a self-propelling one...

256scaifea
Feb 12, 5:27am Top

Treadmilling, then running a few errands today, and afterwards more writing if there's time. I'm going to try a new recipe for dinner: Moo Shu Beef. And then we have Charlie's Parent/Teacher Conference this evening.

On the reading front:
I read a few pages of Crime and Punishment, a few more of Next of Kin, and started Darius the Great Is Not Okay. I'm still listening to Nicholas Nickleby a little everyday, but I usually forget to mention it here for some reason (I'm about halfway through at this point).

257lauralkeet
Feb 12, 7:31am Top

>256 scaifea: The hubs is on the verge of finishing Crime and Punishment, and liking it quite a lot. He has high praise for the P&V translation, is that the one you're reading?

258scaifea
Feb 12, 7:46am Top

>257 lauralkeet: Laura: I'm liking it way more than I expected to; it's even seat-edgy! I have the Penguin Classics Deluxe edition, which is the Oliver Ready translation and it's really good. I've heard great things about the P&V, too, though.

259katiekrug
Feb 12, 9:11am Top

Morning, Amber!

I got nothing... Have a good day :)

260ChelleBearss
Feb 12, 9:30am Top

>184 scaifea: I love that!!

261Crazymamie
Feb 12, 9:35am Top

>259 katiekrug: What she said.

262scaifea
Feb 12, 10:34am Top

>259 katiekrug: Morning, Katie!

>260 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle!

>261 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie!

263richardderus
Feb 12, 11:47am Top

Hey there. Happy Tuesday. Pretty much does my possible, that.

264swynn
Feb 12, 6:05pm Top

>245 scaifea: More love for The Poet X. Need to get to that sometime soon ....

265scaifea
Feb 13, 5:26am Top

>264 swynn: Hi, Steve! Oh, do. It's wonderful.

266scaifea
Edited: Feb 13, 5:44am Top

Parent/Teacher Conference went really well (of course it did - Charlie is a good kiddo) and I got all my errand done, too. Today I don't need to leave the house (love those days!) and will spend most of it working on the Latin book, I think. Yesterday's new recipe experiment turned out really good - I'll definitely be making Moo Shu Beef again!

On the reading front:
Not much time for reading yesterday, but I did spend some tie with The Fifth Elephant and Darius the Great Is Not Okay.

We read a lovely picture book last night about a old lady (Mrs. Badger) who climbs a mountain every Sunday, encouraged a young kitten to join her and passes the tradition along. Lots of lovely little bits of kindness and acceptance and friendship in here. Definitely recommended:

Up the Mountain Path

267scaifea
Feb 13, 6:51am Top

Wow, I decided to try the Valentine's Day Heart Hunt, and had them all within 10 minutes! Definitely my best effort at these hunts so far.

268jnwelch
Feb 13, 6:56am Top

Morning, Amber. Good job on the Heart Hunt! I've yet to try one of those.

I hope it's a productive day for the Latin book. I just went through the proofs for a law textbook we do, and we'll prpbably be sending it off to the publisher tomorrow.

269lauralkeet
Feb 13, 7:01am Top

>267 scaifea: I wonder, did this hunt feel easier to you? I love this type of thing but have been easily frustrated by the previous ones, throwing my hands up in despair. But I racked up 15 hearts pretty easily last night.

270msf59
Feb 13, 7:01am Top

Morning, Amber! Happy Wednesday. I hope your week is humming along and those books are treating you fine.

271alcottacre
Feb 13, 7:06am Top

>202 scaifea: I am going to have to shop at your store! I want the owl magnet. After work. . .

>205 scaifea: I love that! Too bad I never carry a purse. My girls though, that's another matter entirely. I bet Catey would love one.

>222 scaifea: Adding that one to the BlackHole.

>245 scaifea: I already have that one in the BlackHole. I am hoping to get to it soon.

>267 scaifea: I have never attempted one of the hunts. Congratulations on finishing it so quickly!

272scaifea
Feb 13, 8:03am Top

>268 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! I bet you'd enjoy the hunts if you tried them. Good luck with the textbook! I'm hoping to make good progress on mine today.

>269 lauralkeet: Laura: I do think they've become easier over the past few hunts, because I used to get frustrated, too. I was surprised that I knew so many immediately this time - I think I only had to do a little googling for two.

>270 msf59: Morning, Mark! Lately I feel like I haven't had a ton of time for the books, but I'm hoping to change that soon.

>271 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia! I'm so glad you like my shop!

You could use the pouch for a purse, but really I think if it more as a pencil pouch, a makeup bag,... It's not big enough to be a purse for me - I couldn't fit a book in it!

The Rough Patch is great, but have a tissue handy...

I hope you love The Poet X - it's a great one.

And you should try the hunts - very much like a board game...

273laytonwoman3rd
Feb 13, 8:05am Top

>267 scaifea: I got about 10 of the valentines very quickly. The others were not familiar to me, and so I had to work harder, and "cheat" with hints and google and such. But I really enjoy them. I do think these clues were a bit clearer than some of the 12 Days of Christmas ones.

274scaifea
Feb 13, 10:37am Top

>273 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Yep, and I thought the Christmas ones were even a little easier than past hunts, but this one has definitely been the easiest.

275richardderus
Feb 13, 10:38am Top

Happy Hump Day, Amber, spend it well.

276scaifea
Feb 13, 12:06pm Top

>275 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. Well, I did just polish off a whole plateful of cookies with my coffee, so yeah. So far so good.

277scaifea
Feb 13, 12:53pm Top

This topic was continued by scaifea's 2019 Thread #4.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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