Sunday, June 25, 2017

Celebrate This Week!

 Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.

When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build. 

   A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember.

I've loved seeing Linda Baie's 
beautiful flower pics on Instagram! 

I created a padlet, Summer Reading Smorgasbord
for members of our book club.

I read a young adult book (I usually stick to middle grade), 
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham.
I loved this blend of historical fiction
and mystery set in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  
As a native Oklahoman and a former Tulsa resident, 
I enjoyed the connections to a place I know 
and the exploration of a difficult time in Tulsa's history,
 the race riot of 1921.   

Jack and I bid goodbye to the bumpo and hello to the bouncer!
I realized that our days with the bumpo
were numbered when Mr. Jack started arching his back, 
but thank goodness the bouncer is ready for this active boy.  

Jack's first road trip to Utah!
Be sure to take your favorite animals on the road with you.
When you reach Grandma & Grandpa Passey's house, 
it's time to stretch out and read with Dad!

I'm continuing my clutter clearing in Blake's old bedroom
(my clutter, not his) to make room for the twin bed to come.
I was thrilled to find an empty box
and a box that is garage ready amid the stragglers.
I'm not telling how long I've been working on this project!

We enjoyed a day trip to Mount Ranier National Park.

Teddy's first birthday celebration! 
Multiple celebrations marked the occasion. 
The wonder and magic of balloons
 and a first cupcake!
I can't wait for next month when we'll see
this sweet boy and his parents in Utah!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Slice of Life: Last Book Club Meeting in June!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

If it's Tuesday afternoon, then it's time for a weekly ritual.  I meet with other book lovers at the middle school for Books, Brownies, and Beyond, our after school book club.  This past week was our last meeting of the school year.  We gathered in a circle with Ms. Bowman to talk about ways that we find our next great read.  Then we visited the free books table (compliments of our local indie bookstore who shares their ARCs with us).  

Finally I shared my red basket of book reviews, clipped from the pages of Kids' Next, the indie bound newsletter specifically for kids.  When interest was slow for making a list of book possibilities for summer reading, I attached a cookie bar to the end of the list:  "List five books you might like to read this summer and show it to me to get a cookie bar."  

This last pic is special because these gals are our graduating 8th graders.  Katie and Elsa have belonged to our book club since its beginning three years ago.  They have lingered each week after the meeting to help clean up and assist me in toting boxes of books and supplies back to my car.  They were feeling a bit bittersweet about their last book club meeting, but managed these beautiful smiles for our pic. And we've decided that we'll meet occasionally to talk books even after they head to high school.   


Our book club meets twice during the summer at the public library. on July 11 and August 22.   Those meetings include our incoming sixth graders and of course, our outgoing eighth graders.  There's nothing better than a summer afternoon and a book you can't wait to read!  And after that an opportunity to meet with other book lovers to share recent discoveries and of course, some cookie bars.  

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Celebrate This Week!

 Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.

When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build. 

   A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember.

Celebrating grandsons, books, family, and poetry this week!

Friday was better!  Jack's parents are sleep training my sweet boy which means that Grandma is also supporting that effort.  Wednesday was wickedly challenging for me, but Friday was filled with smiles and snuggles and giggles and lots of rollovers,  and three short naps.  I'm sure one would have been much longer if that 
doggone garbage truck hadn't come by!

 Jack's big yawn . . .  almost nap time.

 Teddy's first trip to the National Zoo!
This boy has a 1st birthday next week!

I came home from Friday's battle with the traffic and escaped upstairs to finish Lauren Wolk's new book, Beyond the Bright Sea.
I loved Wolf Hollow, but I adore this new book.
Add it to your summer reading list!  
And I'm wondering, will there be a sequel?  
Just did a little research on that
and here's the answer from an interview with the author -
"...the characters of Crow, Osh and Maggie remain very much on her mind. 'They’re wonderful, wonderful misfits,' Wolk says. 'I miss them terribly. So maybe I’ll write a sequel.'"
I'm crossing my fingers for that maybe to become a certainty.  


Niece Kara and I enjoyed our nightly ritual of watching Call the Midwives.  She's new to the series and I loved re-watching the episodes with her.  She headed home to Oklahoma on Thursday.  And texted me last night with a pic of the screen as she and her mom settled in to watch the midwives.  She mentioned that she 
needs to come back every June.  I'll be ready!

I managed to get back to Poetry Friday yesterday.  I do love
hanging out and learning with these poetry loving friends!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Poetry Friday: Happy Belated Birthday to Issa!



Head over to Carol's blog, 
Carol's Cornerfor this week's
round-up of poetic goodness. 
She's introducing us to Tracy Smith,
our newest Poet Laureate of the United States. 
Thanks, Carol, for hosting this week!

Thanks to Poetry Almanac, I learned that yesterday was the birthday of Issa.  "It's the birthday of Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa, born in Kashiwabara, Japan (1763). He’s one of the masters of the Japanese form of poetry called haiku, which uses 17 Japanese characters broken into three distinct units. He spent most of his adult life traveling around Japan, writing haiku, keeping a travel diary, and visiting shrines and temples across the country. By the end of his life, he had written over 20,000 haiku celebrating the small wonders of everyday life. He’s a big reason haiku became so popular in Japan and around the world."

When I clicked on the Poetry Foundation link, I learned a bit about the sorrow that permeated this poet's life.  This picture book, Cool Melons-Turn to Frogs!  The Life and Poems of Issa, is perfect for introducing children to haiku and this revered master of the form.    
Here's a favorite haiku from the book:
"A child intent
on plucking jewels
of dew in the morning grass."
                          - Issa

That haiku probably inspired this haiku that I composed in my head  while Jack took his morning bottle.
"After rain showers
Raindrops glisten on green leaves
For Jack's morning stroll."
                         - Ramona Behnke

Be sure to read the back notes in the book, especially the section About Haiku provided by the author.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Slice of Life: A Museum Visit

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.
I've had a delightful houseguest for the past two weeks.  My niece, Kara, has been visiting.  She's enjoyed time to rest, study, read, hike, and visit.  But one thing we haven't done much of is play the tourist.  She's been here several times before and I kept asking her if there was anything she wanted to do in Seattle.   On Thursday we headed out for a visit to Pike Place Market (always on the agenda) and then we went to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum (a first-time visit for Kara).  
I took many pictures at the Chihuly Museum and decided that I would rank them in order of my favorite parts of the museum.  This has proven to be much harder than I expected.  It was my fourth visit to the museum.   I love every part of this museum, so even a ranking of last place is a section that I love.  When I explored the museum site, I discovered an audio tour.  Each section of the museum that I've highlighted is linked to a short audio presentation. 

 When you look closely, you can see all kinds of sea life tucked in among the water of the sculpture.

For many the wall of blankets at the end of this room is the focal point, but I love the glass sculptures that mimic the shapes of baskets sitting in the center of the room.  I like the way
the light fills  and surrounds this display.  
Chihuly explains that this installation was inspired
by his mother's garden.  I love to walk slowly around the room and peer at the different sections of this
 beautiful garden-like arrangement of glass.


I've visited during the day and at night, 
during the summer and the winter.
The garden never fails to delight my senses and my soul! 

 The pic below shows my niece and the Space Needle
reflected in one of the glass balls in the garden. 

3.  Glass House
Chihuly created this glass house in appreciation of his
fascination with conservatories.  I will never forget the
winter evening spent here listening to Ted Kooser share poetry! 
(And yes, that is the base of the Space Needle.)

These canoes filled with glass make my heart happy!

I never tire of standing and snapping photos of this
ceiling.  This time I especially loved the corner shadows.
I hope you've enjoyed strolling through this favorite museum with my niece Kara and me.  Maybe I'll make it to Tacoma this summer so I can share a visit to the Museum of Glass and take you
along on a walking tour of Chihuly's
public art installations in downtown Tacoma.  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Celebrate This Week!

 Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.

When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build. 

   A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember.

Birthday cookies!
 Birthday peonies!
Museum visit with niece Kara!
(more about this in upcoming Slice of Life)
Peonies at Pike Place Market!
Jack attempts to share his shaky egg
with the boy in the mirror!
Teddy reads Little Cub with Dad
(just arrived in package from Grandpa).
Personal milestone!
I'm a lifetime member of Weight Watchers.  I jokingly say that I was at goal once for about ten minutes.  In January I started having knee problems which seriously curtailed my walking (favorite form of exercise).  So I've been working on losing five pounds for months.  And today (after quite a few indulgences during birthday week), I finally reached that milestone.  I'm not sure how that happened.  Probably the cumulative effects of the previous weeks (months) finally paid off.  And I'm looking forward to continuing the downward trend throughout the summer.  Knees are a bit better, but still waiting for the green light to resume exercise.  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Slice of Life: A Dash of Humor Amid the Hubbub!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

Our community has become crazy with concern about changes we are facing as construction begins for light rail.  We have lost our privileged access to the high occupancy lanes that we have enjoyed for decades and more traffic will be routed through our downtown area and neighborhoods.

  Here's just one paragraph from a recent Seattle Times article:  
"This weekend the I-90 express lanes will close as crews work to prepare for light-rail construction. Mercer Island residents, or anyone simply crossing the lake, are bracing for bottlenecks. Lanes will be re-striped and shoulders will be removed or reduced, among other changes."

"Bracing for bottlenecks" in a region that already ranks 20th  worldwide for traffic congestion and 10th in the United States.  So you can see why I applauded this sign I saw tonight outside our local indie bookstore.  Sometimes, the best way to face a new challenge is to laugh, keep your eyes on the road, and
your ears tuned to a book on tape.