Archive for June 27th, 2008


June 27, 2008 @ 10:15 pm | Filed under: ,

Sometimes other people’s secrets are as much fun as your own. I’ve been bubbling over with one of Alice’s for weeks. Go look, go! Is it not the prettiest place on the internet? Be sure to click all around. One thing that especially delights me is having easy access to all her tea menus. These teas are one of her best innovations and have been enriching my own family’s feast-day celebrations for years and years. I was one of the lucky ones, you know, who got to reap the benefits of Alice’s particular genius long before she came to the internet. (Forgive me if I gloat a little.) I remember when she presented her first themed tea menu (a Shakespearean repast, that one) to her teeny tiny girls waaay back in our young-mama days. A decade later, I am still giggling over some of her menu items.

Her Midsummer Night’s Dream tea is another masterpiece, invented for the cast party of her local group’s performance of that play. Because I (more gloating) got to read her upcoming book in manuscript, and because she is including that tea in an appendix to the book, my San Diego friends and I got to enjoy the very same feast after our Shakespeare Club’s performance of scenes from that play—the club itself being an enterprise I was inspired to launch after hearing Alice’s Shakespeare stories. This is the effect she’s had on me for years, and the effect she’s had on the online homeschooling community since she joined that party: she has all these great ideas and makes them sound so easy and doable. So you jump up and do them, and she’s right. I see the fruit of her genius all over the internet.

Which is why people are going to love her book. One of the reasons why, that is. The personal narrative itself is captivating, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a recurring character. 🙂 Although she did make me cry a goodly number of times as she recounted the story of our own budding friendship back in Queens, NY. What delicious days those were! But beyond the fact that her book tells a darn good story, there’s what I always think of as the “practical inspiration” factor—does a book inspire me to get up and DO? Haystack Full of Needles does. Which I think is pretty impressive, considering I talk to the author on the phone almost every day, so you’d think I’d have heard all her ideas by now. Not so. Because the woman is a fount of them; they bubble out of her. As I read the manuscript, I was thinking, gosh, people are just going to wish they could live in Alice’s area and be part of the things she’s describing. But as I read on, I realized that no, the effect of the book goes much deeper than that: you find yourself energized and eager to put her ideas to work in your own home and circle of friends. It’s a beautiful look at family and community, what we give each other and how we grow together. Which is exactly how I characterize my friendship with Alice Gunther: we have grown up together, as mothers—we met when her oldest was two and my only(!) child was fifteen months old. I’ve been the lucky recipient of her brilliant ideas ever since. It just tickles me pink that now the whole world can enjoy the riches too.

August, 2000. Post Barnes & Noble booksigning celebration. From left: me, unidentified man’s bottom, Alice with our friend Brigid’s sweet daughter Emily on her lap. Photo by Brigid! You can’t tell because we’re sitting, but I was pregnant with Beanie—Alice’s future goddaughter.

Internet Baby Boom (Updated)

June 27, 2008 @ 6:35 pm | Filed under: ,

Have you noticed? Seems like everywhere I click lately, there’s another happy announcement.

Well, here too. 🙂

When I read Suzanne’s post in May, I grinned big. I wasn’t quite ready to share our news yet, but Suzanne and I must be just about on the same schedule. Bairn number six is due to join this party in early January. Given my due date (New Year’s Eve, or Hogmanay to you Martha fans) and my track record (all five babies born somewhere between 41 and 42 weeks), Scott is fully confident I’ll be delivering on Elvis’s birthday. That’s January 8th, as if I need to tell you that.

We are all immensely excited. One of us is also fiercely ill, but that shouldn’t last too much longer. Here’s to our first California baby!

P.S. Whom did I miss up there? I know that sentence in blue has more linky potential.

UPDATE: I knew I was missing someone. Because I am a knucklehead, for real. “I’m not a smart person; I only play on on the internet.” I missed one of my best friends, of course. Whose big day is now only days away, and I’ve been counting down in giddy excitement. Ah, Sarah, how do you put up with me?

(And check the comments for other expectant moms. So awesome!)

Author Interview at Ramblin’ Roads

June 27, 2008 @ 3:21 pm | Filed under:

Did you know there’s an I Remember Laura blog-a-thon going on this month? Every Monday in June, Miss Sandy of Quill Cottage is hosting a little blog carnival about Laura Ingalls Wilder. This week, the theme is “Musical Memories and Beautiful Books,” and the always amiable Karla of Ramblin’ Roads to Everywhere asked if she could interview me about my own Little House books. She asked great questions, and her post is up at Ramblin’ Roads today. Thanks again, Karla! It was a pleasure.

Some of You Won’t See This Post

June 27, 2008 @ 10:24 am | Filed under:

…for a few days, that is. Argh. I’ve got a little bloggy glitch going on, a complication having to do with the server and a plug-in, which may be preventing some of you from seeing my most recent posts when you click the blog’s main page. It’s a caching issue: some browsers are viewing an older version of the blog rather than the most recent. For example, I’ve just heard from one friend that when she clicks on my blog today, she’s not seeing anything I’ve posted since June 24th. That means she’s missing about four posts.

In her case, she knew she was missing something because she subscribes to my feed in Google Reader. If you read my feed, you’re seeing all the posts. And you can click through directly to individual posts and see them here, with the comments. It’s only when you (and only some of you; it doesn’t seem to be happening to everyone—if you are logged in, for example, it won’t happen) click to the main blog site that the problem is occurring.

A workaround until I find a solution: click on the top post title in “Recent Comments.” Then you’ll see an arrow link to the title of the next post, and from that one, you can click to the next, and so on. Not ideal, but it’s a temporary fix. You might also try emptying your browser cache. And of course subbing to the feed is another good option. 🙂

Thanks for putting up with me while I get this sorted out. Maybe I’ll add a note to the sidebar until then, because this post won’t show up for many of you until next week, most likely.

California Homeschooling Case Updates

June 27, 2008 @ 4:02 am | Filed under: ,