Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Recipe for the Bud

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebs - Collage - Morph

This was too goofy to pas up, but is he really equal parts?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Celebrate Your Potty

One of the biggest hits from yesterday's party was a musical card that plays "Celebration" when you open it.

Celebrate good times

This morning after playing it for the 4,567th time in the past 24 hours, the Bud told me that they (meaning Kool and the Gang) were singing about a potty.

"There's a potty going on right here... we're gonna celebrate your potty with you."

We actually are finally celebrating the potty a bit around here (Hooray!) - which is why those lyrics must seem perfectly logical.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Three Years for the Budlet!

Birthday Bud

The Bud was the "birthday Bud" today. Although the actual day was yesterday - we had a little party today.
It's so hard to believe my sweet, little Budlet is now such a sweet, big Kidlet.

Prince Bud

He was prince Budlet for most of the morning in his new crown - I thought he looked a little like Prince John from the Robin Hood cartoon when it got pushed down on his ears.

A few weeks ago we asked the Bud what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. He replied, "The shape of Minnesota with Dark [sic] Vader" - a little later he added "with a watermelon". He was so serious, and the answer never changed - except for the addition of the watermelon - that we just had to oblige.

The cake he asked for

The whole thing cracks me up quite a bit. I still like the original sketch the best.

The Original Sketch

Darth Vader is a licensed character, so the bakery wouldn't copy the fabulous drawing D's coworker did for us, but they would use a plastic Vader ring for his head and create his body in frosting. I think the original drawing would look great on a T-shirt. Hmmm. Hey, D - didn't you used to do screen printing?

The Bud with Cake

The Bud liked it all the same, and kept opening the fridge to peek at it all morning.

The Bud blowing out his candles

There was much running and playing and general merriment with cousin K up until the big nap time crash. I think "fun was had by all."

I have been spending some time lately finishing up some long time WIPS.

I started these socks for a long car ride to a family reunion early this summer.
Reunion socks finally done
Reunion Socks - Plain toe-up socks with a short row heel
Yarn: ArtYarns Ultramerino 4
Needles: US 1


I was using these to try to improve my short row heels. I tried two different approaches - one used YOs and one used wraps. The wrapped heel turned out a bit better. For the wrapped heel I tried knitting back and forth (no purling) first left handed and then right handed. It made it a little easier for me to figure out exactly how to mirror the wrapping, and improved my right handed knitting - not that I am planning on switching. My left handed knitting and purling is far faster and more natural for me.

The other WIP I FO-ed recently was a pair of Mitered Mittens made of yarn leftover from my Clapotis. I was thinking about doing a tiny bit of embroiderey on them, but part of me likes them plain too. Either way I'm sure I will be putting these to good use soon.

Mitered Mittens
Mitered Mittens by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca 100% Alpaca
Needles: US 3

Part of the reason I was pushing the FOs was to let myself start something new without so much guilt.

The start of something new:

Every project has a beginning

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall

Running through the leaves

Peeking around the tree


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Authors are my red carpet people

I'm a middle school English teacher turned school librarian, so - yeah - I like books and reading, and as a colleague of mine said today, "authors are my 'red carpet' people."
I love to meet authors in person and hear them talk about their writing process and the events that have shaped their lives. I love getting a glimpse of them as real people, and not just as photos on a dust jacket.
I wish I wasn't such an introvert - I am so horrible at making small talk - when I get opportunities to meet my 'red carpet people' I usually don't end up conversing much. Mostly I end up saying some variation on the "I really liked your book" theme. Lame, I know.

Today I pushed myself a bit beyond my comfort zone when I met Jordan Sonnenblick, and not only told him I liked his book, but also asked for a picture. Whoa!

Jordan Sonnenblick and I

I have had opportunities to meet many writers in person over the years: Gwendolyn Brooks (all I can say is wow!), Tomie dePaola, Jean Craighead George, Sharon Creech, Katherine Paterson, and many others.
There are those I have met with whom I would not want to be trapped in an elevator (Tamora Pierce, please write a million books - I will read them all with great pleasure - but I hope there are no elevators in our future). Then there are those authors I have met with whom I would consider that situation a blessing. Jordan Sonnenblick would be one of those authors - although I would probably be laughing quite a bit, and without the opportunity to go to the bathroom (being trapped in an elevator and all) "holding it" might become a problem. Hmmm.

Sonnenblick wrote his first book, Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, specifically to make a difference for one of his students whose younger brother had cancer. He tried desperately to find a book to help her deal with her feelings. When his searches came up empty, he knew he needed to write it himself.

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie was one of my top 3 reads of last year - the other two being The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian and The Invention of Hugo Cabret. (Yes, I do keep a log of the books I read with a rating - I'm a librarian, what can I say.)

As Sonnenblick says, it is "the story of a middle school kid whose little brother gets cancer... but it's funny." There are few authors who are able to write seriously about tragic subjects while interjecting humor and pull it off. Barbara Park did it well with Mick Harte was Here and The Graduation of Jake Moon, and Sonnenblick nailed it with Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie.

Some of you know I am a lover of audiobooks, but not all audiobooks are worth a listen (I still have not forgiven Campbell Scott and his crazy breathing for ruining one of my all time favorite books, Time and Again by Jack Finney). Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie and Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian are both fabulous as audiobooks as well - CBF (crazy breathing free), I promise.

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