Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Slice of Life: Book Club Celebrates Twenty Years Together!

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.

We dreamed of a trip to Europe, but it was not to be for our book club's twenty year celebration. Instead, we chose a destination closer to home for a two day getaway. Our early morning boarding of the ferry and an almost three hour ride to Victoria gave us plenty of time to gab and enjoy the bread, fruit, and juice that Shannon provided.
Three in our party headed to Butchart Gardens immediately after we disembarked from the ferry. Their pictures convinced me that I simply must experience the gardens in the fall (maybe next year?).
The rest of us headed to Jam Cafe for brunch and then wandered around Chinatown doing a bit of shopping, lingering in a tea shop, and tasting a bit of chocolate. The weather was gorgeous and the fall colors were resplendent. 

Then it was off to Munro's Books because . . . a book club trip definitely deserves a stop in a bookstore!
I was immediately drawn to their incredible children's book section. It was not until my return visit the next day that I noticed the neo-classical architecture and beautiful fabric banners by Carole Sebastian that grace the interior of the bookstore. 

Most of us grabbed a quick nap before dinner at Ithaka Greek Restaurant. The service was superb and the food was delicious. We returned to our hotel where we played a game of "take a coin, look at the date, and share a story from that year in your life." Before heading to bed, Coleen passed around a box of beautiful chocolates from a delightful chocolate shop in Edmonton.

We kicked off our Saturday fun with breakfast at the hotel followed by the Egypt exhibit at The Royal BC Museum. The highlight of the trip for me was our afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel. 
All too soon it was time to board the ferry for our return trip to Seattle.
While our time away was relaxing and refreshing, we found ourselves longing for more time together. And that's why our next celebration simply has to be more than two days long! 

In case you're wondering, not all of us have belonged to the book club for twenty years. But there are five original members who made this trip. And three members who have moved away, but joined us for the fun. And several others who regularly attend, but couldn't make the trip.

The delight of our two days together can be summed up by the words of Rainer Maria Rilke:
Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Celebrate October!

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 love October!
And I'm in love with this enchanting board book!

There's a lovely nip in the air, 
frequently a mist in the morning,
and sometimes a bit of sun too!
My view out the Starbucks window as I draft this post. 

Both of my children were born in October,
so it's a big birthday month in our family. 

This month our book club traveled to Victoria, BC
to celebrate our twentieth year together.
This trip deserves its own post (a future slice of life).

Our Sing with our Grandkids group met
with local musician, Nancy Stewart.
We kicked off the evening with songs 
(each of us with our own animal puppet), 
learned how to make a book with photos 
that we could sing with our grands
and were introduced to the app, Story Creator.

And of course, my grandsons continue to grow and 
talk and giggle and keep this Grandma so happy! 

Teddy read"Five Little Pumpkins" 
to us on a video. The best line was one added by him
when he saw the witches, "Get out of this book!" 

The highlight of Jack's month had to be the new driveway.
Nothing beats having a cement mixer at your own house.
He refused to leave the front yard while they were pouring concrete, and then we set up chairs in the garage
to watch the rest of the process before baking 
oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for our workers.

I almost forgot to mention the delightful time I had doing 
book talks with sixth and seventh graders at my former school.
Nothing is more fun than sharing books with fellow readers!

And every moment of this season
fills me with wonder and enchantment
at the gorgeous colors that surround me!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Poetry Friday: Poems in the pages of Hello!

Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
is hosting this week's round-up of poetic goodness. 
She shared "Ginkgo Bilboa"
by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, written for his friend Marianne.
I love the gingko leaves at the bottom of the poem.

Grandson Jack and I love watching for the arrival of his Highlights Hello magazine. This month's issue about shapes is perfect.
He's currently obsessed with circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles. I was thrilled to discover a poem by Heidi Bee Roemer "Let's Make a Snowman" (to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat").  I find myself checking the authors and illustrators in each issue as I look for names I recognize from the world of children's poetry.

Let's Make a Snowman
by Heidi Bee Roemer
Art by Julissa Mora
(To the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Roll, roll, roll the snow
Watch the snowballs grow.
Stack three high,
Add nose and eyes-
Your snowman says, "Hello."

(Jack thinks an emptied drawer in Grandma's kitchen makes a perfect reading stand.)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Spiritual Journey First Thursday: Humor

Welcome to Spiritual Journey First Thursday,
a group of friends who blog monthly about our spiritual journeys. 
Jan, our October host who blogs at Bookseedstudio,
has asked us to write about humor this month.

Jan gave us plenty of advance notice about our topic for this month, humor.  I've enjoyed looking at Biblical injunctions to have a merry heart, mostly because I don't think of myself as a humorous person, but I do see myself as someone who has a merry heart. 

" merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance..." 
-Proverbs 15:13

"... he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast."
-Proverbs 15:15

"merry heart doeth good like a medicine..."
-Proverbs 17:22

And a few quotes from a book I just picked up today at the library, (Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor by Rev. Susan Sparks):

"Laughter is God's soothing touch on a fevered world."
-Kenneth Hildebrand

"Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon."
-Winnie The Pooh

"Laughter is carbonated holiness."
 -Anne Lamott

"Humor is not a trick, not jokes. Humor is a presence in the world, like grace, and shines on everyone."
-Garrison Keillor

What makes my heart merry?
The laughter of children, family stories, the changing of the seasons, libraries, comics, bookstores, cookies, dear friends, and hot chocolate to name a few. 

As he headed to bed my dad used to say, "Goodnight! See you in the funny papers, on the animal side." 

Like him, I love comics. Here are some favorites I've clipped in the past.

Humor is a valuable tool for dealing with life's challenges. When you face trials and frustrations and conflicts that are an inevitable part of life's journey, remember to pick up the comics section of the newspaper. It's a guaranteed way to a merry heart for me. And if you no longer subscribe to a newspaper, buy a 2019 calendar with a tear-off comic for every day of the year. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Slice of Life: My Not-So-Secret Addiction!

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 try really hard.

I rarely buy them.

I know that I don't need them.

I don't have any room for them.

But my friends know my weakness for them.

They put me in charge of the children's book section.

And before I know it . . . I've fallen down the rabbit hole.

And filled my dining room table with treasures from our library book sale!
They are not all for me, I purchased two for a tutor looking for The Traveling Pants series.

I should probably mention that volunteers at the book sale get 50% off their purchases.

I purchased The Three Trees, a favorite Christmas picture book to give away.

I purchased five for the family who sits in the pew in front of us at church.

I purchased many marvelous picture books for grandsons Jack and Teddy.

I purchased I'm A Big Brother for Jack (who'll need it next spring)!

I purchased a stack for Melissa who teaches sixth graders.

And Brown Girl Dreaming is in that stack.

I purchased Leaf Hunt because it's fall.

I purchased a few just for me.

You can't beat the price.

$39 of pure delight!