Archive for November, 2010

Things I Am Doing

November 30, 2010 @ 6:29 am | Filed under:

(In lieu of a post, a list)

Reading CYBILs books, spose that goes without saying.

Reading to Rilla a lot: current favorites include CRAZY HAIR*, THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA, and the word-perfect MORE MORE MORE SAID THE BABY.

Working through the ASL lessons at Lifeprint (again). This is a thing I do periodically with languages. German and ASL, several times a year, each. A week or three of intense immersion and then life whisks me elsewhere.  ASL is my boy’s other language, and although he uses English as his primary, he tends to sign along with a lot of what he is speaking—especially fingerspelling names and such. He spells so rapidly I can barely read it.

Playing Lexulous (speaking of being back on a kick).

Not gardening, and I’m not sure why! This is usually a busy time of year for me in my bee garden. Cool enough to dig, but not cold, and enough rain to make things actually be green.

Working on this one thing, and that other thing. (She said cryptically.)

Amusing myself with this post, and almost certainly no one else.

Listening to this song over and over.

*Not Scary Hair as I posted at first. I’m the one with scary hair this morning. Must have been projecting.

Poetry Friday: A Rilla Reprise

November 25, 2010 @ 9:26 pm | Filed under:

Just a morsel today. I’ve been working on an archive page for my Poetry Friday posts (because I find WordPress’s archives obnoxiously unwieldy), and I came across this entry from March of 2007. I had to laugh, because it turns out last week wasn’t the first time one of my bairns made a contribution to Poetry Friday. I’d forgotten that Rilla had a turn when she was eleven months old.

Sisters, by Rilla

They scoop me up and say I’m delicious;
They grant practically all of my wishes
(Except when I wish to gnaw on a Lego).
Mostly I wish to go where they go.

Jane is the one who totes me like mother
And won’t let me pull out the hair of my brother.
Rose guards me from anything ’ticingly teeny.
The one who twirls me around is Beanie.

I’m not sure whether the ache I get from this photo is because that baby has grown so big, or because that rug has grown so dingy. Ah, the cruel march of time. And feet.

This week’s Poetry Friday host is Jone at Check It Out.

On This Day

November 25, 2010 @ 8:05 am | Filed under: ,

…a revisiting of one of the first posts I ever wrote for this blog, and one of the many reasons my cup runneth over.

She finished the last round of high-dose chemo on Thanksgiving Day of 1997. We ate Boston Market turkey and stuffing in the hospital playroom while her meds finished running. There were two more years of low-dose chemo to go, but we expected to spend most of that period as out-patients. When we got home that night—home, where we hadn’t spent more than ten days in a row since March—it was late, a cold, clear night, with as many stars as a New York City sky can muster. I remember thinking I couldn’t imagine ever being more thankful for anything than I was to be carrying that little girl up the stairs to our apartment that night.

Full post here.

(Thirteen years later, the Boston Market logo still fills me with a sense of overwhelming gratitude.)

(But then so do a lot of things, including this face.)


A little ham to go with your turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends, wherever you may be.


November 22, 2010 @ 4:03 pm | Filed under:

If I don’t catch up on my backlog of posts soon, I might explode. I still have unfinished drafts about our trip this summer. And the Minnesota/Kidlitcon/Mankato/Margaret expedition! And Saturday’s fabulous Betsy-Tacy party at Readers Inc! And forty-odd CYBILs nominees to talk about!

What is a busy motherwriterblogger to do?

Ignore the drafts (again) and write about something else (again), I guess. Like Rilla’s sudden passion for Scotch tape. Four-year-old girl? Check. Pile of construction paper? Check. Endless stream of sticky creations? Check check check. They call it magic tape for a reason. I’ve got a very thick green airplane to prove it.

My cell phone spent the weekend in a bag of rice and seems to be more or less recovered from its hot-cocoa bath. Except that all my ringtones have spontaneously rearranged themselves. Scott’s used to be a Green Day song. Today when he called me while I was sitting in the eye doctor’s waiting room, “Magical Mystery Tour” blared out. I think the volume controls have been reset, too. And where my friend Alice’s calls used to elicit a soft, delicate Ave Maria, there is now a sailor’s hornpipe. Make of this what you will.

iPhoto is eating up all my laptop’s memory and causing everything to run……painfully……slowly. Which is about the speed at which my brain is moving to seek out a solution to this problem.

People keep saying Thanksgiving is this week. What is up with that! November only just started, I’m sure of it. I don’t know what you people are talking about.

In other news, I was hunting for the tiny screwdriver and checked the basket where I stick Things That Need to Be Put Away Later. Inside it were last year’s Advent candles. Um. Am I a housekeeping rock star, or what?

Well, they’re still pretty long. Think anyone’ll notice if I reuse them on Sunday? Because you know I haven’t remembered to buy the new ones yet.

Today’s the Day!

November 20, 2010 @ 7:42 am | Filed under:

Where: Readers Inc Bookstore in La Mesa, CA

When: 3pm today

What: A Betsy-Tacy Celebration! I’ll read from one of the books and we’ll discuss all things Betsy (and Carney, Winona, Emily…)

Who: You and your kids, I hope!

Poetry Friday: The Huck Edition

November 19, 2010 @ 12:16 pm | Filed under:

Today’s Poetry Friday contribution is brought to you by my 22-month-old. Visit Random Noodling for this week’s roundup.

Olympian Heights

Four blocks. Five. Six. Seven.
Look, universe, and marvel: Heaven
Is closer now.
Nothing’s not in reach.

Eight, and if the crash
Comes, all the better.
Hold construction for a moment!
Mom’s phone, her full mug—
The fit is perfect, the splash
Not to seem smug
But I’m confident
She’ll be pleased

Or lively, at least:
Her fire-red wail
Loud as my fine red truck
They flew to fridge-top
Last night at dinner.

Now I see: I’m Hercules;
That truck’s my next labor,
Since I’ve conquered the blocks.

………………………….Amazon box.

Try Next to the Fwiday Ones

November 18, 2010 @ 7:56 pm | Filed under:

Rilla: What day of the week is it that starts with a T and an H?

Me (pointing at the calendar): Thursday.

Rilla (skeptical): Really?

Me: Yup! When you see a T and an H together, they make this sound: thhh. Like in Thhhhursday.

Rilla (tries it) thhh thhh thhh

Me: That’s it!

Rilla: OK. Can you help me find my socks that say Fursday?

November Rillabooks

November 18, 2010 @ 7:34 am | Filed under: ,

Her current favorites.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr. A tiger shows up at teatime and eats all the food in the house. What’s not to love? Young Sophie and her mother are unfailingly polite to their ravenous guest, and at the end of the day there’s an outing to a cafe—with Sophie in pajamas, which Rilla thinks is just about the best thing she ever heard. Pretty sure it was The Bookworm who introduced us to this gem: much obliged.

Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. I raved about this one a while back: Two little boys run for a toybox and brandish their selections in triumph and challenge. Shark vs. train—who wins? It depends…what’s the competition? Pie-eating? Diving? Marshmallow roasting? The stakes keep escalating, to hilarious effect. Rilla and Wonderboy sit and pore over the art, which is sharp and comic and enchanting. I predict numerous awards for it this year, just you watch and see.

Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer. I read about this one at The Poem Farm and tracked down a copy straightaway. You guys, it’s amazing. Each spread is a poem based on a fairy tale—a form called a “reverso,” invented by Singer. You can read it from two directions: top down and bottom up. This isn’t just for little kids; my older girls passed it around the day it arrived, all of them intrigued. Fun, clever, inspiring. Thanks for the tip, Amy. (Great review at A Year of Reading, too.)

I could add more books to this list, but breakfast beckons.

Betsy-Tacy Interview Link

November 15, 2010 @ 7:23 pm | Filed under: ,

That was so much fun! Thanks to everyone who called or wrote in with questions. Here’s the podcast for those of you who couldn’t listen live. And don’t miss BookClubGirl’s follow-up post, which is chock-full of links and notes about the things we discussed.

Related posts:

Heaven to Betsy! High-school-and-beyond books being reissued! (Sept 2009)
Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill
The Betsy-Tacy Songbook
Interview with Mitali Perkins, Jennifer Hart, and me about Maud’s books
Betsy-Tacy booksigning at ALA Midwinter
Photos of my visit to the real Deep Valley, as chronicled by Margaret in Minnesota
Why I love Carney
Why I love Emily
A Reader’s Guide to Betsy-Tacy