Friday, December 31, 2010


Today's word that I picked from the fishbowl on my desk


1. a lock or tuft of hair growing in a different direction from the rest of the hair

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

how the grinch stole christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
By Dr. Suess

Synopsis from Goodreads: "The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! / Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason." Dr. Seuss's small-hearted Grinch ranks right up there with Scrooge when it comes to the crankiest, scowling holiday grumps of all time. For 53 years, the Grinch has lived in a cave on the side of a mountain, looming above the Whos in Whoville. The noisy holiday preparations and infernal singing of the happy little citizens below annoy him to no end. The Grinch decides this frivolous merriment must stop. His "wonderful, awful" idea is to don a Santa outfit, strap heavy antlers on his poor, quivering dog Max, construct a makeshift sleigh, head down to Whoville, and strip the chafingly cheerful Whos of their Yuletide glee once and for all.
Looking quite out of place and very disturbing in his makeshift Santa get-up, the Grinch slithers down chimneys with empty bags and stealing the Whos' presents, their food, even the logs from their humble Who-fires. He takes the ramshackle sleigh to Mt. Crumpit to dump it and waits to hear the sobs of the Whos when they wake up and discover the trappings of Christmas have disappeared. Imagine the Whos' dismay when they discover the evil-doings of Grinch in his anti-Santa guise. But what is that sound? It's not sobbing, but singing! Children simultaneously adore and fear this triumphant, twisted Seussian testimonial to the undaunted cheerfulness of the Whos, the transcendent nature of joy, and of course, the growth potential of a heart that's two sizes too small. This holiday classic is perfect for reading aloud to your favorite little Whos. (Ages 4 to 8)

What I think: When I was a kid I loved the dog, Max.  I thought he was a really good helper.  Now as an adult I have moments when I relate more to the Grinch himself.  This story is a good  reminder that the best gift you can ever get is the gift of giving.  Merry Christmas, Grinch!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I made marmalade to give to friends and family over the holidays.  My first batch came out great.  I thinly sliced oranges and lemons and let them soak overnight in a pot with sugar and water.

The oranges were then cooked for several hours and spooned into jars.  Unfortunately, I burned myself a little during the jam pouring.  The injury was well worth the results.  The marmalade was gooey and sweet and delicious.  Me, my sister, husband and brother-in-law enjoyed spreading the fresh marmalade over cheese and crackers.  I also mailed my mother, grandmother and aunt a jar from this batch.

However, my next round of marmalade turned into a disaster.  I think I was overly confident and rushed the final simmering step.  The jam ended up tasting more like orange soup.  If you are inspired to make marmalade after reading this post, remember to cook it for the FULL AMOUNT OF TIME.

This marmalade recipe is from the cookbook of Ina Garten.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Today's word that I picked from the fish bowl on my desk 


1. marked by uncontrollable exuberance

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


By Kathi Appelt

Synopsis from Goodreads:  To ten-year-old Keeper the moon is her chance to fix all that has gone wrong ... and so much has gone wrong. 
But she knows who can make things right again: Maggie Marie, her mermaid mother, who swam away when Keeper was just three. A blue moon calls the mermaids to gather at the sandbar, and that's exactly where Keeper is headed - in a small boat. In the middle of the night, with only her dog, BD (Best Dog), and seagull named Captain. When the riptide pulls at the boat, tugging her away from the shore and deep into the rough waters of the Gulf of mexico, panic sets in and the fairy tales that lured her out there go tumbling into the waves. Maybe the blue moon won't sparkle with mermaids and maybe - Oh, no ... "Maybe" is just to difficult to bear.

What I think:  A beautifully written story set in a small coastal town.  All of the characters have a lovely relationship with animals and nature.  Tip to Readers: Make sure to peek at the "Acknowledgments" at the end of the book.  Kathi Appelt reveals where she got the name for her protagonist.  Keeper!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Yesterday, I received an early Christmas present.  A friend of mine gave me a blank puzzle!  I was so inspired by this gift, I sketched out an idea.  I plan to draw a girl blowing bubbles on my puzzle and then color it in with Prismacolor markers.  Stay tuned.  This puzzle will be continued...

Friday, December 17, 2010


Today's word that I picked from the fish bowl on my desk


1.  full of high spirits  2. extremely pleasant or agreeable

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

notes from a liar and her dog

Notes from a Liar and Her Dog
By Gennifer Choldenko

Synopsis from Goodreads:  For Antonia MacPherson, lying is a way of life. It's what works best when you are a weed in a family of roses. No matter what she does, her mother thinks she's wrong. Her older sister, Your Highness Elizabeth, (as Ant calls her) says Ant's best friend, Harrison, stinks, and her younger sister, Katherine the Great, takes notes on Ant's bad behavior to report back to their mother. The only family member to whom Ant admits to being related is Pistachio, her dog. A clever, resourceful and very funny liar, Ant sticks to her own moral code that gives Pistachio and Harrison precedence over all other living creatures. But when a concerned teacher sees the truth behind Ant's humor and lies, it seems Ant and her mother may be in for a showdown

What I think: Out of all of Ginnifer Choldenko's books, this is my favorite.  The story is laugh out loud funny AND it is really touching.  Without giving too much away, I got a bit teary in parts.  Ant is a character you simply have to root for.  Plus, I just love the title.

Friday, December 10, 2010

paper dolls

I loved playing with paper dolls when I was little.   My sister and I had a book filled with the paper dolls, paper clothing and a little paper stand.  We'd carefully rip out pants, shirts, skirts and jackets making sure we didn't lose the tabs.  Miranda and I needed those tabs to fold around our doll figures.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover Grace Lin (a fantastic children's author) had posted a free paper doll template on her blog.  These paper dolls are from her children's book "Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same".  If you are interested in downloading the dolls go to:

I sure had fun coloring mine!


Today's word that I picked from the fish bowl on my desk


1. having or showing discernment or good judgment in conduct and espiecally in speech  2. unobtrusive, unnoticeable

Sunday, December 5, 2010

holiday cheer

Yesterday, I started thinking about Holiday cards.  I usually feel inspired to make my own cards but I didn't have any ideas.  So, I put on a little music to get myself in the mood.  "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by Vince Guaraldi (my very favorite Christmas album).  Now, with the sound of the piano in my office, I spread out a bunch of supplies on my desk.  Card stock, markers, pencils, watercolors, photos, glue, glitter and little silver stars.  Here's to the beginning of the Holidays!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Today's word that I picked from the fish bowl on my desk 


1.the principal character in a literary work

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

'tis the season

I love this time of year.  It's a time where I catch up on my reading list.  During Thanksgiving break, I read "The Help" by Kathryn Sockett (loved it), "Hector and the Search for Happiness" by Francios Lelord and now I am half way through "Keeper" by Kathi Appelt.

My most recent reading got me thinking about my very favorite books.  Even though I enjoyed all of my Thanksgiving reads, I don't think of any of them will become a forever favorite.  Here are some of the books that I will never forget.

FAVORITE BOOK WHEN I WAS A LITTLE KID "A Light in the Attic" by Shel Silverstein (When I was 9 years old, I memorized a poem from this collection called "Clarence")

FAVORITE BOOK WHEN I WAS AN OLDER KID "Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

FAVORITE BOOK IN VERSE "Love that Dog" by Sharon Creech

FAVORITE ADULT BOOK "Griffin and Sabine"by Nick Bantock

FAVORITE TITLE "The Liars Club"by Mary Karr

FAVORITE CLASSIC "The Old Man and the Sea"by Ernest Hemingway

FAVORITE BOOK ABOUT WRITING (tie) "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott and "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg

FAVORITE BOOK FOR ARTISTS "The Artist's Way" and "The Vein of Gold" by Julia Cameron

What are some of your favorite books?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

trip to belize

While Geoff and I were in Belize and Florida...

Calvin found his own sunny spot at home.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Today's word that I picked from the fish bowl on my desk 


1. a place of refuge and protection  2. a refuge for wildlife where predators are controlled and hunting is illegal

Thursday, November 25, 2010

giving thanks

This little Pilgrim would like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Does this colorscope belong to:

a) Stephen Spielberg
b) Woody Allen
c) Mark Twain
d) all of the above
e) none of the above

To find out go to:

Friday, November 19, 2010


Today's word that I picked from the fish bowl on my desk


1. writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound and rhythm.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

another lost bird

A few weeks ago, I discovered a "lost pheasant" poster.  (Click here)

It appears that we have another missing bird in our neighborhood.  Where in the world is Voodoo?  And what ever happened to that pheasant?  I hope these two find their way home.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


My most recent chapter from "The Vein of Gold" (click here) is all about time management.  Julia Cameron believes that we all have enough time to create. Instead of waiting for empty days to begin our projects, we can be creative in small spurts.  She assigned the following task: Carry a notebook every day for a week and sketch places where you are kept waiting.

Here are a few of the places where I wait.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Today's word that I picked from the fish bowl on my desk


1. periodically rising and falling or flowing and ebbing

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

brenda ueland

A few days ago, I started to read IF YOU WANT TO WRITE by Brenda Ueland.  See previous post called "accountability".

After finishing IF YOU WANT TO WRITE in record time (I read really fast when I love something), I planned on posting paragraph after paragraph of Ueland's advice.  Unfortunately, I don't think I'm allowed to quote half of a book in this blog.  I have a feeling I'd be violating quite a few copyright laws.

Instead, I will simply recommend IF YOU WANT TO WRITE by Brenda Ueland. This is an inspiring book for anyone who wishes to create.

Monday, November 8, 2010

fall back

Due to the time change, my cats were extra sleepy last night.