Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tom's Tweet by Jill Esbaum w/illustrations by Dan Santat

Tom's Tweet

This was just as cute as it could be! Tom the cat thinks he's scored an easy snack when he finds a helpless little bird, but his conscience kicks in and he decides to do the right thing and tries to put the baby back in its nest. An angry Mama bird misunderstands and goes on the attack. Tom is forced to take care of the little one while he tries to figure out a way to get him back in his nest. Poor Tom finally gets his little tweet back home, only to find him on the loose again the next day. The illustrations were charmingly adorable, and the story is a hoot.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Another video that says it all...

What can I say? I like Bob Geldof. And I couldn't resist using him twice in a row...

Poetry Monday


Why stand you there proud megaliths?

So stony faced and grim.

All back to back and looking out

Hiding the truth within.

Your folded arms and old grey eyes,

And deeply rooted feet,

So long defied your enemies

You have no friendly greet.

We all walk round out of your reach,

Except those trained few

Who you allow to come inside,

‘Cause they’re as grey as you

I wonder if you have forgot?

You are so very old.

If time has supped your memories,

And your story stays untold.

Paddy J. P. Harris

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Counting Down to Christmas- my Second Favorite Song

I have been told by several different people that the total breakdowns of singers 2 & 4 are an eerily accurate approximation of what I sound like. Different gender, but totally me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Get Away From Me With Those Christmas Gifts, and Other Reactions

I first stumbled over this little book as I was working as a shelver in the main branch of the New Hanonver County Public Library during high school. The title caught my eye and I had to take it home and read it. The title story as well as a chapter where Sylvia tries to recount how she came to create a recipe and one where she has a dialogue with the voices in her head while cooking are the reasons I have read and re-read it. Imagine my delight when I discovered that my library in Louisville has a copy! I make a point of checking it out once or twice a year just to keep it in the collection, in the hopes that someone else will find it the way I did! I can't find a cover illustration, but here are some images from when her writing was featured in Harper Magazine. (via Google images)


Countdown to Christmas- my 4th favorite song

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Countdown to Christmas- my 5th favorite song

I can't believe that I'm admitting this on the internet, but it's a guilty pleasure.....

Monday, December 19, 2011

Poetry Monday

A Rose Has Thorns As Well As Honey

A rose has thorns as well as honey,

I'll not have her for love or money;

An iris grows so straight and fine,

That she shall be no friend of mine;

Snowdrops like the snow would chill me;

Nightshade would caress and kill me;

Crocus like a spear would fright me;

Dragon's-mouth might bark or bite me;

Convolvulus but blooms to die;

A wind-flower suggests a sigh;

Love-lies-bleeding makes me sad;

And poppy-juice would drive me mad: -

But give me holly, bold and jolly,

Honest, prickly, shining holly;

Pluck me holly leaf and berry

For the day when I make merry.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ruby Red- Kerstin Geir

Ruby Red (Ruby Red - Trilogy)

From Goodreads: Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential.

Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.
My opinion:
I loved this! Although I had figured out a few of the plot twists, I don't know what caused them yet. (I'm sure that they will be explained in the rest of the trilogy) Gwyneth and her best friend are a delight, her interactions with the school ghost (who doesn't know he's dead) are amusing, and her family is just plain baffling. She handles her unexpected ability to time-travel fairly well, considering some of the situations she gets thrust into. I'm dying to know what has created the schism in time-travel factions, and what Gwyneth's mystery power will turn out to be.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Two for Tuesday

This may or may not become a regular feature, but I wanted to share 2 of the Christmas Ornaments that I've finished stitching. Sadly, my camera is still refusing to upload pictures, so once again I have to thank the kind folks at Google Images for the assist.

First we have this one:

 Brittercup Designs, 2011 ornament from the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue. I've added beads to represent the ornaments on mine. 

and this:

 This is also from the JCS ornament issue, but I couldn't find a bigger picture.

Anyway, I had fun doing those two, and hopefully will be able to share more as I finish them. and maybe I'll finally learn how to get MY pictures to upload!

Oh- and for those who are interested, my friend Laura is hosting an ornament exchange on her blog. You can sign up here: and join the fun. We did a bookmark exchange last year, and if this one goes well, I'm hoping she'll do some more in 2012.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Poetry Monday

Homage to My Hips

these hips are big hips.

they need space to

move around in.

they don't fit into little

petty places. these hips

are free hips.

they don't like to be held back.

these hips have never been enslaved,

they go where they want to go

they do what they want to do.

these hips are mighty hips.

these hips are magic hips.

i have known them

to put a spell on a man and

spin him like a top

Lucille Clifton

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Poncho- Year One

Poncho:  Year One

I first came across this series a few years ago. Poncho is a funny little dog, and his interactions with the humans, cats, fish, and other dogs in his life are a hoot. Creator Paul Gilligan decided to go back and explore Poncho's origins, and I'm SO glad he did. You get to see his life from just before birth until he goes to live with his pet human, Chaz. The puppy sibling relationships are a scream- loved the Goth girl pup. Great addition to my collection.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Poetry Monday

My Love Is Like To Ice

My love is like to ice, and I to fire:

How comes it then that this her cold so great

Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,

But harder grows the more I her entreat?

Or how comes it that my exceeding heat

Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold,

But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,

And feel my flames augmented manifold?

What more miraculous thing may be told,

That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice,

And ice, which is congeal's with senseless cold,

Should kindle fire by wonderful device?

Such is the power of love in gentle mind,

That it can alter all the course of kind.

Edmund Spenser

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Moon Over Soho- Ben Aaronovitch

Moon Over Soho

Peter Grant is back in this second installment of Aaronovitch's series, and all I can say is "More, please!" I'd swear he's writing these things just for me- set in London, featuring jazz and a biracial hero, with a healthy dollop of paranormal activity thrown in. All things I love, and well written, to boot! I liked the fact that a critically injured character from the first book still appears in the second, and without being magically cured of the damage she suffered. It's hard for Peter (and Leslie herself) to deal with the aftermath, but it doesn't get glossed over. Peter's mentor is also still suffering the effects of his injuries from Midnight Riot, and Peter is left with a great deal less superivision as a result. This, for him, does not prove to be an entirely good thing as he is faced with a man-eating woman (literally), several unexpectedly dead jazz musicians, and yet another woman who wants Peter for her own. Good stuff!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Poetry Monday

I Sit and Think

I sit beside the fire and think

of all that I have seen,

of meadow-flowers and butterflies

in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer

in autumns that there were,

with morning mist and silver sun

and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think

of how the world will be

when winter comes without a spring

that I shall never see.

For still there are so many things

that I have never seen:

in every wood in every spring

there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think

of people long ago,

and people who will see a world

that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think

of times there were before,

I listen for returning feet

and voices at the door.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

*once again, thanks to google images and the designer who created this sweet picture

Monday, November 21, 2011

Poetry Monday

Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf

As soon as Wolf began to feel

That he would like a decent meal,

He went and knocked on Grandma's door.

When Grandma opened it, she saw

The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,

And Wolfie said, 'May I come in?'

Poor Grandmamma was terrified,

'He's going to eat me up!' she cried.

And she was absolutely right.

He ate her up in one big bite.

But Grandmamma was small and tough,

And Wolfie wailed, 'That's not enough!

I haven't yet begun to feel

That I have had a decent meal!'

He ran around the kitchen yelping,

'I've got to have a second helping!'

Then added with a frightful leer,

'I'm therefore going to wait right here

Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood

Comes home from walking in the wood.'

He quickly put on Grandma's clothes,

(Of course he hadn't eaten those).

He dressed himself in coat and hat.

He put on shoes, and after that,

He even brushed and curled his hair,

Then sat himself in Grandma's chair.

In came the little girl in red.

She stopped. She stared. And then she said,

'What great big ears you have, Grandma.'

'All the better to hear you with,'

the Wolf replied.

'What great big eyes you have, Grandma.'

said Little Red Riding Hood.

'All the better to see you with,'

the Wolf replied.

He sat there watching her and smiled.

He thought, I'm going to eat this child.

Compared with her old Grandmamma,

She's going to taste like caviar.

Then Little Red Riding Hood said, '

But Grandma, what a lovely great big

furry coat you have on.'

'That's wrong!' cried Wolf.

'Have you forgot

To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got?

Ah well, no matter what you say,

I'm going to eat you anyway.'

The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.

She whips a pistol from her knickers.

She aims it at the creature's head,

And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.

A few weeks later, in the wood,

I came across Miss Riding Hood.

But what a change! No cloak of red,

No silly hood upon her head.

She said, 'Hello, and do please note

My lovely furry wolfskin coat.'

Roald Dahl

Monday, November 14, 2011

Poetry Monday


'I cannot go to school today, '

Said little Peggy Ann McKay.

'I have the measles and the mumps,

A gash, a rash and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,

I'm going blind in my right eye.

My tonsils are as big as rocks,

I've counted sixteen chicken pox

And there's one more-that's seventeen,

And don't you think my face looks green?

My leg is cut-my eyes are blue-

It might be instamatic flu.

I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,

I'm sure that my left leg is broke-

My hip hurts when I move my chin,

My belly button's caving in,

My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,

My 'pendix pains each time it rains.

My nose is cold, my toes are numb.

I have a sliver in my thumb.

My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,

I hardly whisper when I speak.

My tongue is filling up my mouth,

I think my hair is falling out.

My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,

My temperature is one-o-eight.

My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,

There is a hole inside my ear.

I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what?

What's that? What's that you say?

You say today is...Saturday?

G'bye, I'm going out to play! '

Shel Silverstein

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Haul-idays, year 2!

The good folks at Chronicle Books have revived the contest for another year! This year has a twist- not only can one of you & I win $500 worth of books, they'll donate the same to the charity of the winner's choice! How awesome is that? I'd have to donate to First Books ( just because I believe that EVERYONE should have books that wants them.

So, without further ado, here's my wishlist:

Cake SimpleCake Simple: Recipes for Bundt-Style Cakes from Classic Dark Chocolate to Luscious Lemon Basil  $19.95

Farts Around the World $15.95

It’s Lonely in the Modern World

It’s Lonely in the Modern World: The Essential Guide to Form, Function, and Ennui from the Creators of Unhappy Hipsters  $19.95

Treasured Classics $19.99


How to Speak Wookiee $16.95


Bon Voyage $16.95

Music ListographyMusic Listography: Your Life in (Play) Lists $16.95


World of GeekcraftWorld of Geekcraft: Step-by-Step Instructions for 25 Super-Cool Craft Projects $19.95


CatalogCatalog: The Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping Princeton Architectural Press $35.00  

Holidays on Display $24.95

Foodie Fight Rematch $22.95

The Kittens of Boxville $14.95

Handheld Pies $19.95

And I'll take the rest on a gift certificate, Chuck. (Does anyone get that, or am I just old?)

Be sure to leave a comment, and include your email address so you can be contacted if I/we win!




Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Milking the Rhino: Dangerously Funny Lists by Chris Rush

Product Details

This was an odd little title that I picked up as a kindle freebie. While it was somewhat amusing (I love lists of all sorts- probably my OCD kicking in), I think I'm glad I didn't actually pay anything for it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Poetry Monday

The Pig

In England once there lived a big

And wonderfully clever pig.

To everybody it was plain

That Piggy had a massive brain.

He worked out sums inside his head,

There was no book he hadn't read.

He knew what made an airplane fly,

He knew how engines worked and why.

He knew all this, but in the end

One question drove him round the bend:

He simply couldn't puzzle out

What LIFE was really all about.

What was the reason for his birth?

Why was he placed upon this earth?

His giant brain went round and round.

Alas, no answer could be found.

Till suddenly one wondrous night.

All in a flash he saw the light.

He jumped up like a ballet dancer

And yelled, "By gum, I've got the answer!"

"They want my bacon slice by slice

"To sell at a tremendous price!

"They want my tender juicy chops

"To put in all the butcher's shops!

"They want my pork to make a roast

"And that's the part'll cost the most!

"They want my sausages in strings!

"They even want my chitterlings!

"The butcher's shop! The carving knife!

"That is the reason for my life!"

Such thoughts as these are not designed

To give a pig great piece of mind.

Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland,

A pail of pigswill in his hand,

And piggy with a mighty roar,

Bashes the farmer to the floor…

Now comes the rather grizzly bit

So let's not make too much of it,

Except that you must understand

That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland,

He ate him up from head to toe,

Chewing the pieces nice and slow.

It took an hour to reach the feet,

Because there was so much to eat,

And when he finished, Pig, of course,

Felt absolutely no remorse.

Slowly he scratched his brainy head

And with a little smile he said,

"I had a fairly powerful hunch

"That he might have me for his lunch.

"And so, because I feared the worst,

"I thought I'd better eat him first."

Roald Dahl

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Midnight Riot- Ben Aaronovitch

Product Details
From Goodreads:
The police career of techie Peter Grant was stuck in "pause" until a ghost whispered in his ear. The insights of this deceased eyewitness help solve a baffling homicide and bring paranormal Peter to the attention of his London Metropolitan Police bosses. What follows is a smoothly-paced supernatural procedural that is grounded enough to keep you guessing and strange enough to keep you amused

My opinion:

This was a fun read. The hero is a biracial police officer (not that it matters to the plot- just being biracial myself means I notice more when I come across a character that is) who meets a ghost while being stuck at a crime scene and finds himself launched into the world of the supertnatural while still trying to be a good police officer. He's transferred into the unknown-to-him paranormal police squad and begins to learn magic himself- all while solving the seemingly random crime wave in his area and settling squabbles among river deities. Add in a potential police officer girlfriend, a potential river deity grilfriend, and Molly the maid of unknown supernatural descent, Toby the dog, and an exploding cell phone, and you have quite an entertaining novel. Can't wait to start Moon over Soho- the next book in the series!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Poetry Monday

Happy Halloween!

The Vampire

by Madison Julius Cawein

A lily in a twilight place?

A moonflow'r in the lonely night?—

Strange beauty of a woman's face

Of wildflow'r-white!

The rain that hangs a star's green ray

Slim on a leaf-point's restlessness,

Is not so glimmering green and gray

As was her dress.

I drew her dark hair from her eyes,

And in their deeps beheld a while

Such shadowy moonlight as the skies

Of Hell may smile.

She held her mouth up redly wan,

And burning cold,—I bent and kissed

Such rosy snow as some wild dawn

Makes of a mist.

God shall not take from me that hour,

When round my neck her white arms clung!

When 'neath my lips, like some fierce flower,

Her white throat swung!

Or words she murmured while she leaned!

Witch-words, she holds me softly by,—

The spell that binds me to a fiend

Until I die.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ready Player One- Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

From Goodreads:
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed

My opinion:

I started this book at 1 a.m. thinking I would read for an hour or so until I fell asleep. I closed it at 4:58 and felt like I was saying goodbye to an old friend. Cline has created a frighteningly good portrait of what the world may turn into within the next 50 years. And while I'm not the avid gamer/computer freak that the characters in this book are, I knew enough to follow the story easily and try to decipher the challenges & clues that would lead them to the ultimate prize. The BOATLOAD of 80's trivia made me smile- I don't know how many times I sat up with a squeal of "Hey, I KNEW THAT!" Seriously good stuff

Monday, October 24, 2011

Poetry Monday

A good lead in to Halloween, I think....

The Highwayman

The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,

The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding--


The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

He'd a French cocked hat on his forehead, and a bunch of lace at his chin;

He'd a coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of fine doe-skin.

They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to his thigh!

And he rode with a jeweled twinkle--

His rapier hilt a-twinkle--

His pistol butts a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,

He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred,

He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there

But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--

Bess, the landlord's daughter--

Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked

Where Tim, the ostler listened--his face was white and peaked--

His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,

But he loved the landlord's daughter--

The landlord's black-eyed daughter;

Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I'm after a prize tonight,

But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.

Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,

Then look for me by moonlight,

Watch for me by moonlight,

I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He stood upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,

But she loosened her hair in the casement! His face burnt like a brand

As the sweet black waves of perfume came tumbling o'er his breast,

Then he kissed its waves in the moonlight

(O sweet black waves in the moonlight!),

And he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon.

And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,

When the road was a gypsy's ribbon over the purple moor,

The redcoat troops came marching--


King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord; they drank his ale instead,

But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed.

Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets by their side;

There was Death at every window,

And Hell at one dark window,

For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had bound her up at attention, with many a sniggering jest!

They had tied a rifle beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!

"Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say,

"Look for me by moonlight,

Watch for me by moonlight,

I'll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way."

She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!

She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!

They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,

Till, on the stroke of midnight,

Cold on the stroke of midnight,

The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it, she strove no more for the rest;

Up, she stood up at attention, with the barrel beneath her breast.

She would not risk their hearing, she would not strive again,

For the road lay bare in the moonlight,

Blank and bare in the moonlight,

And the blood in her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love's refrain.

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?

Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,

The highwayman came riding--


The redcoats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and still.

Tlot tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot tlot, in the echoing night!

Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!

Her eyes grew wide for a moment, she drew one last deep breath,

Then her finger moved in the moonlight--

Her musket shattered the moonlight--

Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him--with her death.

He turned, he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood

Bowed, with her head o'er the casement, drenched in her own red blood!

Not till the dawn did he hear it, and his face grew grey to hear

How Bess, the landlord's daughter,

The landlord's black-eyed daughter,

Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,

With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!

Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat

When they shot him down in the highway,

Down like a dog in the highway,

And he lay in his blood in the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still on a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,

When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

When the road is a gypsy's ribbon looping the purple moor,

The highwayman comes riding--


The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,

He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,

He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there

But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--

Bess, the landlord's daughter--

Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Alfred Noyes