Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Slice of Life: Lured by Words

I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice"
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, BethKathleen,
Deb, Melanie, Lanny, and Kelsey

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

I can't help myself. I'm bewitched by words. And so when I read, I notice words and become enchanted.

Two of the excerpts I'm sharing today come from my current read, Love Walked In by Marisa De los Santos.

"There's a kind of tenderness that's only possible in the predawn hours, a blue-gray, lonely tenderness that comes from dim lights and sleepiness and immense quiet. A kind of tenderness and a kind of hope." (p. 187)

Lovely words and description, don't you agree?

"That evening, after dinner, Clare went into Cornelia's bedroom to write what Teo had said to her about being good in her journal. Getting the words right mattered, but so did describing his voice when he talked and capturing the feeling that filled her as he spoke and after he spoke. She thought about that word 'capture,' how it put a writer on par with a fur trapper or big-game hunter, and how it implied that stories were whole and roaming around loose in the world, and a writer's job was to catch them. Except of course that a writer didn't kill what she caught, didn't stuff it and hang it on a wall; the point was to keep the stories alive." (p. 205)

I'm so glad that writers catch the stories that are roaming around loose in the world and share them with us, the readers. I'm sure that I'll finish this book today and then it's on to my next read to fulfill one of the categories on my 2018 Reading Challenge, 10 to Try from KCLS (King County Library System). The category is "Read a book in translation." And the book I've chosen is The Book of Pearl by Timothy de Fombelle, translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone & Sam Gordon. It showed up on my hold shelf at the library, but I'm not sure who led me to it. Here are the words about the setting that captured me (from the inside flap) and made me move it to the top of my WTR (want to read) pile:

"Joshua Pearl comes from a world that we no longer believe in - a world of fairy tales. He knows that his great love is waiting for him somewhere in that realm, but he is trapped in an unfamiliar place - an old-world marshmallow shop in Paris on the eve of World War II." (inside flap)

I was totally captivated by the place - an old-world marshmallow shop in Paris - and the time period, the eve of World War II. How about it? What words lure you into the world of story? Are there specific ways that you become enchanted when you pick up a book?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Celebrate This Week: Grateful for The Man in the Parking Lot!

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'm not sure why I locked the car because I was only walking a few feet away to retrieve a shopping cart. But when I returned, the remote would not unlock the door. I panicked because grandson Jack was in the car. It was a warm day (for Seattle). I had opted to park in the shade. But as I continued to hit the remote with no response, my worry increased. I looked up to see a man and his wife walking my way headed for the car next to me. I explained the situation to the wife who immediately called her husband over. He commented that the battery was probably dead. He headed back to the driver's side and managed to get the remote to work! Call it a coincidence that this good samaritan happened along at just the right time. I call it a tender mercy, one of those times that the Lord sent someone my way at just the right time. Jack and I did our grocery shopping and headed to electronics to get the battery replaced. That's when I learned about the key on the remote that will let you get into the car (but not drive it). Good information to know! So grateful for the helpful guy in the parking lot and the salesperson in Fred Meyers who opened the remote and replaced the battery for me. 

This week has been filled with more time to play tourist since our niece Darlene and her daughter Esther are visiting from Kansas. Friday's activity was the Kidsquest Museum with Jack and Esther. On Saturday we explored the Seattle Aquarium and Pike Place Market. Today they were planning on the Space Needle and the Chihuly Museum! We've kept them busy. Tomorrow they head back home to Kansas. It's been fun to share our cooler weather (according to them), the fun spots around Seattle, and to just enjoy being together. 

Kidsquest Museum

Aquarium pics with the otters

 Teddy shows off his driving skills 
at Grandma Barb's house.
Roses from my yard
 Thanks, Darlene, for helping me 
prune and deadhead and for climbing 
the ladder to clip these roses grown too tall!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Slice of Life: Wait Time!

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

No, this is not a post about waiting the appropriate time after asking a question. This is about my favorite kind of wait time, waiting while someone else (this time it's my husband) has a procedure (you know the one we all hate to prep for), so I can be the designated driver home. It's delicious time because I don't have to feel guilty about the things I should be doing. Instead I filled my book bag with four books and my computer. 

Let's peek inside my bag for a look at what I brought for this approximately ninety minute wait:

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor - Words from the back cover:  ""Here she reflects on how our lives do not work only when everything is fully lit. We can't always see the light. It waxes and wanes or can go out altogether. What we need is a spirituality that works in the nighttime."

This Year I Will . . . by M. J. Ryan - This is my go-to book for staying inspired as I seek to make changes in my life. I've read it several times and it always speaks to me.

Am I There Yet? The Loop-de-Loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood by Mari Andrew - I follow Mari on Instagram and although I'm not part of her twenty-something target audience, I feel (at sixty+) that I'm still growing up! And I love her drawings. 

Love Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos - This is the book my online book club chose when I said that I'd had my fill of tough reads and needed a light, summer read. I've started it and it's absolutely perfect. Plus, I'm compiling a list of old movies mentioned in the book that I want to watch.

Just so you know, I only read from two of the four books during this morning's wait time. I started writing this post, but had to stop when I lost power and realized I didn't have my power cord. I started my reading time by beginning Learning to Walk in the Dark and then dipped into Love Walked In. I do love wait time, especially when it's someone else getting the procedure, and I'm the one getting time to read!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Celebrate This Week: Company!

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.

My niece Kara was here visiting from Oklahoma this past week. 
She teaches fourth grade so we always enjoy chatting about our shared profession. And she hung out with Jack and me on Tuesday and Wednesday. When she arrived last week, Jack was sick for a couple of days with a high fever. He slowly warmed up to her, touched her knee in passing on Sunday at church, played toesies with her at Pike Place Market on Monday, and by Tuesday he was sharing toys and giggles with her and saying her name by Wednesday. That's also the first day that he said Grandma, definitely a red letter day for me!
If you look closely at this cousin pic, you'll see hands reaching up. Jack ended up out of the pic when he decided that he was too tired for any more pics!

I love it when visiting family and friends give me an excuse to play tourist in my own city. After our morning at Pike Place Market, we topped off our day with Wings Over Washington, a ride on the Great Wheel, and fish and chips at Ivar's on the waterfront. 
Wednesday night, Kara's last night here, was girls night out at the theatre. Can you guess the play we saw? 

Here are some pics from Utah where Teddy and his mom are enjoying a stay with his Grandma Barb and his Great Grandma. Last week, Teddy's Dad popped in for a long weekend. 
Love this pic of Teddy during prayer!

I settled down on Thursday to read these nonfiction books with a piece of chocolate and a mug of milk. They were probably recommended by blogger friend, Linda, who blogs at Teacher Dance and keeps me connected with great nonfiction picture books. I loved all three of them, but especially the Pete Seeger book.

Still enjoying these peonies from our visit
to Pike Place Market on Monday!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Celebrate This Week: Summer Fun!

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.

Summer traditions:
Book club outside, parades, visits from family and so much more! 

One of my favorite summer evenings is book club at Shannon's home. We invite spouses and friends to join us for dinner outside and our book discussion, with Lake Washington in view and Mount Ranier in the distance. While I didn't love this year's choice, Douglas Preston's The Lost City of the Monkey God, I always love this opportunity to enjoy dinner with friends followed by a lively discussion. Here's our host Shannon posing with her monkey collection and her favorite monkey from childhood.
 The parade at Island Celebration -
Jack (on his Dad's shoulders
with a hand from Grandpa)
watches the parade beginning as
Old Glory is carried by local veterans.
Jack liked the parade. His favorite
parts were the big trucks and the fire engine. 

Jack, full of grins, for the camera
(or maybe for his mom?)
Gorgeous hydrangeas discovered by Jack and me 
in the neighbor's yard on our morning stroll
 Pics of grandson Teddy who is two 
and loves to send videos to Grandma & Grandpa
More finds from the library book sale! 
(I highlighted the poetry books on Poetry Friday,
but here are some more of the treasures I found.)
The little book between the two middle grade titles is 
A Friend Is Someone Who Likes You by Joan Walsh Anglund, published in 1958. I love this little book!
My niece, Kara, is visiting from Oklahoma. 
She is unimpressed by our "heat wave"
with temps in the upper 80s.
I love this pic taken after church
with daughter Sara and niece Kara.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Poetry Friday: Poetry Finds at the Library Book Sale!

Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children is hosting
this week's round-up of poetic goodness. She has
news of her latest book with Janet Wong, Great Morning!

I worked at our library book sale from 6 - 9 pm on Thursday evening. One of the benefits of volunteering for the book sale is looking through the bins when things are slow and selecting books for me and for my daughter. I'm always extra excited when we find poetry books in the bins. Here are the books I purchased yesterday.
 And here are three poems for summer days from Shel Silverstein's
A Light in the Attic:

Here's hoping you'll have some summer days to put something silly in the world, to swing in your hammock and to enjoy gentle showers before "Whoosh - shiver-" summer's gone!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Slice of Life: Reading for Pleasure!

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

This is one of those weeks when I'm in search of a slice. When that happens, I generally read other slices and before I know it, someone's slice of life inspires mine. This week's spark came from Mandy's slice who shared what happened one day when she stopped all reading to pick up a favorite author, Nicholas Sparks: "I was charmed by the story the characters were living.  I found myself choosing reading over chores. . . I need to remember these feelings and foster them again for myself."

I'm in two book clubs, but every once in awhile, I need to break away and pick up a book that I read just for me. I find these books most often at the Choice Reads section in our public library. I love the serendipity of discovering a new-to-me author just by browsing these shelves. This past spring, I read and loved Bookshop at the Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry. And in June it was The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy. Do you see a theme here? I find it difficult to resist a book about bookstores or libraries. And both of these were delightful, and reminded me that occasionally I need to indulge in the sort of books that I love, books that as Mandy put it, have me "timing other activities and mapping out reading breaks." I hope that your summer includes some time to indulge yourself in something that you choose to read just for fun! (And please tell me about your recent favorites in the comments.)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Celebrate This Week: Seven Pics for 7/7

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.

In honor of 7/7, I'm sharing seven photos from the past week!
 I finished the ARC of Woodson's 
newest MG book on Friday.
You'll want to read this one, 
coming out in August.
 Jack loves playing with these
puzzles that his dad played with 
when he was a little boy.
 Teddy kicks off the 4th of July 
with some flag waving at his
great grandma's house in Utah.
 Teddy's all decked out for the
neighborhood parade.
 My son-in-law, Will, made this patriotic 
fruit pizza for the Fourth of July!
Jack visits his first splash pad.
A gorgeous day at the park!
 Grandpa and Jack love hanging out at the 
train park on Fridays. But Jack's favorite
attraction this week was the man mowing the 
grass with an industrial riding mower.
And the man trimming trees!

FYI:  7/7 has special significance for me. Forty-one years ago, I began my service as a missionary in Hong Kong on 7/7/77.
I've slept a few nights since then, but memories of my time 
there remain precious pages in my life story.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Poetry Friday: "Moments of Summer"

Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is hosting
this week's round-up of poetic goodness.

When we kicked off summer a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to share a favorite poem that combines summer and reading and parental love. I couldn't find it published anywhere on the internet, so I sent an email to the author, Rachel Hadas, asking for permission to share her poem "Moments of Summer" from the anthology Enduring Ties:  Poems of Family Relationships edited by Grant Hardy. The author readily granted permission for me to share the poem. And here it is, with my wish that you might savor the sweet nourishment of reading with someone you love during summer's moments.