Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Slice of Life: Slowing Down the Train!

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, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

Do you ever find yourself deliberately slowing down as you come to the end of a book?  There's something about having to say goodbye to characters I've grown to love that is bittersweet.  Sunday morning was one of those times.  I had enough time to finish Train I Ride by Paul Mosier before church, but I wanted to prolong this train ride.  I also wanted to capture some of the things I love about the book before reaching an ending that I might or might not like.  

So I tucked the book and my writer's notebook into my church bag. Here are my quickly scribbled thoughts about why I love this book (penned before church started).  
I must give credit for being inspired by one of Michelle Haseltine's students.  Michelle shared a page from a student's notebook about reasons she loved their recent read aloud, Come With Me.  Her list inspired me to create a similar list for Train I Ride.  And I quickly showed the book to two friends before church started.  I adore spreading book love!  

And then after church, I curled up in bed and luxuriated in the final pages of Train I Ride.  I like to think that the leisurely pace was matched by the slow pace of the train as it neared Chicago.  And I was not disappointed as I reached the final page! 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Celebrate This Week: Boys, Trees, Leaves, and Routines!

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 usually end my post with  grandboy  pics, but today I'm mixing things up by starting with them.  Teddy is almost sixteen months old.  I love that Stefi keeps us connected with plenty of pics.  
 
Jack got his first taste of Beecher's Mac & Cheese this week.  We're raising this NW boy right!  Those two footstools are positioned to keep baby boy away from the two steps and the coffee table is draped with a blanket until this boy gets a bit more stable.  He's on the move so these fixes are temporary at best.
I love fall!  And I'm in awe of the color that surrounds us.  
 
Finally, I'm celebrating my favorite Saturday routine - posting from Starbucks with my favorite drink, raspberry hot chocolate, to fuel my writing.  It's so much easier to write away from home without all the distractions of things I should be doing.
Have a joyful, colorful weekend!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Slice of Life: Charmed by an eight month old!

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, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

Each time I watch my eight month old grandson, Jack, he's added something new to his bag of tricks.  Today it was his fake cough.  He loves coughing because it's a sound he's recently learned to make.  He demonstrated this new skill before his mom left for work.  

On Sunday I received a blurry shot from the baby monitor during church.  I could just make out that Jack was standing in his crib.  My daughter mentioned today that they had moved the crib to its lowest setting and that he hadn't pulled himself up since that change.  Well, when I went in to pick him up after his morning nap, guess who was standing in his crib?  He can't quite reach the top of the crib, but there he was clinging to the top on his tippy toes and trying valiantly not to bump his head.  

But it was Jack's third trick of the day that totally charmed me! 



I could watch this boy read books all day long!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Celebrate This Week - Powell's Bookstore!

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 was in Portland this past week with my daughter and baby Jack while she attended a medical conference.  You can't go to Portland without a stop at Powell's bookstore.  We stopped by twice and both stops were too short, but I still managed to buy...

something old
I was so excited to spot this used copy
of a poetry book that I love!

something new
This delightful tale of journeys and roads
charmed me from the first page.

something whimsical
This new-to-me animal alphabet book
was actually my daughter's purchase, 
but I love it too.

something just for fun!
I'm not a coffee drinker, but I do love a 
mug o' milk with my cookies
and hot chocolate with a good book!

And every celebrate post has to include
pics of my adorable grandboys, Teddy and Jack!
 Teddy snuggled in Mom's arms
with Pup Pup on one side 
and his lovey on the other.
Jack tries out the hotel swimming 
pool with Mom and Dad.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Poetry Friday: Mapping Seattle Poem by Poem

Head over to Violet's blog, 
Violet Nesdoly/poemsfor her Pumpkin Edition, 
and this week's round-up of poetic goodness.  
Thanks, Violet, for hosting this week!

I've waited all week to share a segment that I saw last week on the NPR NewsHour.  It's a creation of Seattle's first civic poet, Claudia Castro Luna.  You can watch the segment that explains her project to connect poetry and place here.  You can look at the Poetic Grid of Seattle which links poems with specific places in the city.  Here's Claudia's poem which is read by her in the segment.  

A Corner to Love

Maps of this city
number in the thousands
each unique and folded
neatly inside each citizen’s
heart. We live in the city
and the city lives in us.

-Claudia Castro Luna

Think of the possibilities for a project like this linked to the places where we live!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Spiritual Journey First Thursday:

Welcome to Spiritual Journey First Thursday, a group of friends who blog together each month about our spiritual journeys.  Hugs and gratitude to Irene Latham for gathering us to learn and share together each month.  Maya selected our topic for this month - how small steps lead to big change.  

I looked at quotes about small steps, a post by Leo Babuta, and a post I wrote a couple of years ago about my OLW, stretch.  I collected my thoughts and the ones I've borrowed into these powerful four word sentences. 

Small steps every day.
Pick one tiny action.
Rejoice in baby steps.
Celebrate every tiny victory. 
Improve little by little.
It can change everything.

I think I need to print them out and post them as a constant reminder that big change happens when I remember to focus on small steps and tiny actions.  And when I ask for help from the Savior who knows me in all my weaknesses and still loves me and yearns for my growth.  I want to trust His word which assures me:  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  (Philippians 4:13)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Slice of Life: Savor Autumn!

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, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

When fall bursts into bloom, I find myself snapping pictures and begging the wind and rain to stay away so we can enjoy the splendor for a few more days.  And when I'm nudged to take a picture, I know that I must respond because things can change quickly this time of year.  

Yellow's fleeting bloom,
framed against blue sky, reminds
us - treasure today. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Celebrate This Week: Moving and Readers and Books, Oh My!

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.

Moving
We spent most of the week helping Sara and Will move into their first house!  It's been busy, but so exciting for them to become homeowners after eight years of renting.  Today we clean the old place.
 Jack explores the grass on closing day.
Hanging out with Grandpa on moving day!

Readers
Here's Teddy heading into his local library. 
 
The paper he's clutching?  
Proof positive that he's read 1,000 books.  It's supposed to be before kindergarten, but he's done it before two years of age. He has plenty of time to add another thousand or two or three to his list.  
Teddy with good friend, Cohen, at the library.
Here's Jack reading with his mom.
  He loves to turn the pages!

Books
Even though Sara had packed the picture books, she left us plenty of board books to read during moving week.  And then I went to the library on Wednesday evening to pick up my latest holds - almost all picture books!
I was so excited to see Flashlight Night 
by Poetry Friday blogger, Matt Forest Esenwine. 
I love that it combines adventure with a love of books!

KCLS announced their Mock Newbery titles for 2018.  
Beyond the Bright Sea (which I love) by Lauren Wolk is the only title I had already read when they published their list.  This week I finished Midnight Without A Moon by Linda Williams Jackson. 
I can't stop thinking about the memorable characters in this historical fiction title set in 1955.
Next up from the KCLS Mock Newbery list is 
Train I Ride by Paul Moser.
And I'm starting Colson Whitehead's
The Underground Railroad for my adult book club.  
I finished this fun, light read recently
and was delightfully entertained!
I'm always enticed by books about bookstores!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Slice of Life: Delightful Distraction!

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, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

It's not unusual for me to find myself getting distracted.  Actually, I'm a pro at getting distracted.  And my latest distraction has led me to some delightful new learning about an illustrator.  

I'm sorry to report that I cannot name the moment or the place or the blog post that started me down this slippery slope, but it was when I read about a new book, The Shape of the World:  A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright by K. L. Going and illustrated by Lauren Stringer.  One of my all-time favorite books to read aloud is Going's The Liberation of Gabriel King, but I didn't know she wrote picture books.  And the blog post I read mentioned another book written and illustrated by Lauren Stringer, Yellow Time, which I fell in love with last year.  

That's when I decided to see what else Lauren Stringer had illustrated.  I was delighted to discover that several of my favorite picture books are illustrated by her (I really should pay more attention to the illustrator):  Mud, by Mary Lyn Ray; Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant; Winter is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer; and Snow by Cynthia Rylant.   While shopping our library book sale, I discovered and purchased a new-to-me book by Mem Fox and illustrated by Lauren Stringer, Tell Me About Your Day Today.  

My morning's distractions continued as I explored an interview with Lauren Stringer at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.  Don't miss the pic of Buster, the only cat of the three she owns who is allowed to visit her studio.  This interview includes a detailed glimpse into Lauren's process that she uses when she is beginning to illustrate a book.

When you visit the book section of Lauren's blog, you'll be amply rewarded with a short description of each book she's written and/or illustrated with three additional links:  

  • The Story and A Personal Note
  • Praise and Reviews
  • Extras
While some may view my distractibility as a liability, some days it's pure bliss.  Today was one of those days!  

Saturday, September 23, 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.


"Ta-Da" List 
I live with a family of list makers, but Gretchen Rubin's podcast introduced me to my favorite new list.  The "Ta-Da" List is for showcasing things you've accomplished.
This week my "Ta-Da" list has two things on it!
I got my flu shot. - Ta-Da!
I posted to Poetry Friday this week. - Ta-Da!

Sunday Chuckles
You may remember that before Teddy and Jack bestowed Grandmother status on me that I sometimes blogged about Imi, the youngest daughter of a family at church.  When Imi was born, her mom told me that if I sat on "their" pew, that I would get to hold Imi during church.  That's all it took for me to take up a middle of the pew spot beside their family.  And now, Miss Imi, is three and she still comes to sit with my husband and me for part of our worship service each Sunday.  This week's celebration comes from a whispered conversation last Sunday.  Imi told me that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up.  I leaned over and told my husband.  He promptly told Imi that he hadn't been feeling well lately.  And her quick response?  "I'm not a doctor yet!"  
We love this little sweetheart and her sisters Lenna and Kylie.  
I celebrate  sharing Sunday mornings with this sweet family!


The Boys
Jack is my captive audience for guitar practice.
He's not sure what to think of it, but he puts up 
with my very slow progress as I figure out the chords.
(Did I mention that the tips of my fingers feel numb?
Is this the beginning of guitar calluses?)
Love this profile of sweet Teddy at the park.  
And FaceTime visits with Teddy are the best. 
His favorite new word is bubble!  
I even played the guitar for him this week.  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Poetry Friday: Autumn Salute

Head over to Amy's blog, 
The Poem Farm, for this week's
round-up of poetic goodness.  
Thanks, Amy, for hosting this week!

Fall is my favorite season of the year!  And today I'm sharing a book of fall poems, Autumnblings by Douglas Florian.   I love Douglas Florian's seasonal poetry books.  

When I was teaching, we used the first day of fall as our official day to kiss summer goodbye, although my students often reminded me that summer truly ended when school started.  Lest we find ourselves moping all day, we followed up with an opportunity to embrace festive fall!  This poem helped us remember that there is much to love about fall.  

Here's another poem of fall delight!

And now it's time to grab my grandson Jack and head outside to savor the first crisp morning of fall.   

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Slice of Life: A Poetry Reading at Island Books!

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, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

On Monday evening I had the exciting opportunity to participate in a poetry reading at Island Books, our local indie bookstore.  Here's the blurb for the evening from Island Book's event page: 

"The headliner for the event will be current Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, author of, among other works, Dare Say. Also on the bill are Ramona Behnke (literary blogger at Pleasures from the Page), David Horowitz (founder of Rose Alley Press), and Laura Totten (founder of the Mercer Island High School Poetry Club).

This reading is co-sponsored by Humanities Washington and ArtsWA/Washington State Arts Commission."

Thanks to David for taking the lead to organize this event.  Someone asked if I was planning to share poems from all the books on my lap.  (Little did they know that my book bag was filled with ten or so additional titles.)  David gave me 3-5 minutes on the program.  What teacher can talk for only 3-5 minutes, especially when it's about a favorite subject?  I set the stopwatch on my phone and I'm happy to report that I only took 6 minutes and 37 seconds.  

Since I was the first person on the program, I kicked off the evening with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's poem, "The Poem Fire."  You can read that poem in my Q post from National Poetry Month.  Next I shared "Fall Song" by Joy Harjo.  Then I mentioned a few favorite books of children's poetry - One Today by Richard Blanco (the poem he read at Barack Obama's 2nd inauguration) and beautifully illustrated by Dav Pilkey, Joyce Sidman's lovely book of poems What the Heart Knows:  Chants, Charms, and Blessings, and Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's newest book, Read! Read! Read!  I shared "Double Life" from my galley copy (requested from Amy since I knew the book wasn't coming out until today).  Imagine my surprise after the reading to see the book already on display in the children's section.  
Finally, I shared an original poem "Pulled by the Light," and then it was on to the stars of our evening - David, Laura, and Tod.   
A poetry reading is absolutely the best way to spend a rainy, September evening!