Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Which book would you choose?

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty ~ by G. Neri, 2010, graphic novel (Illinois)
"In 1994, in the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago's South Side, a 14-year-old girl named Shavon Dean was killed by a stray bullet during a gang shooting. Her killer, Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, was 11 years old. Neri recounts Yummy's three days on the run from police (and, eventually, his own gang) through the eyes of Roger, a fictional classmate of Yummy's. Roger grapples with the unanswerable questions behind Yummy's situation, with the whys and hows of a failed system, a crime-riddled neighborhood, and a neglected community. How could a smiling boy, who carried a teddy bear and got his nickname from his love of sweets, also be an arsonist, an extortionist, a murderer?"
Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace ~ by Jen Cullerton Johnson, 2010, biography (Wangari Maathai, Kenya)
"As a young girl in Kenya, Wangari was taught to respect nature. She grew up loving the land, plants, and animals that surrounded her — from the giant mugumo trees her people, the Kikuyu, revered to the tiny tadpoles that swam in the river.  Although most Kenyan girls were not educated, Wangari, curious and hardworking, was allowed to go to school. There, her mind sprouted like a seed. She excelled at science and went on to study in the United States. After returning home, Wangari blazed a trail across Kenya, using her knowledge and compassion to promote the rights of her countrywomen and to help save the land, one tree at a time.  This book brings to life the empowering story of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman, and environmentalist, to win a Nobel Peace Prize."
Bird ~ by Zetta Elliott, 2008, children's
"As Bird struggles to understand the death of his beloved grandfather and his older brother’s drug addiction, he escapes into his art. Drawing is an outlet for Bird’s emotions and imagination, and provides a path to making sense of his world. In time, with the help of his grandfather’s friend, Bird finds his own special somethin’ and wings to fly."
The Gutenberg Rubric ~ by Nathan Everett, 2011, fiction (Europe)
"Just months before the completion of the famous Bible that bears his name, Gutenberg was sued by his financial partner for diverting funds to a secret project. When Gutenberg would not share the project, the courts awarded the entire Bible printing business to Johan Fust, leaving Gutenberg with nothing but his secret.  Rare book librarians Madeline Zayne and Keith Drucker are unlikely heroes crossing the U.S. and Europe to track down the legendary tome Gutenberg was working on. When found, it proves to be an encoded rubric that reveals the final resting place of the Library of Alexandria, hidden by its protectors 2,000 years ago. Greed, fear, biblio-terrorism, and Homeland Security stand between the lovers and the discovery of the world’s greatest collection of ancient documents."
The Paperbark Shoe ~ by Goldie Goldbloom, 2011, fiction (Australia)
"Gin Boyle is an albino, a classically trained pianist, and a woman with a painful past. Disavowed by her wealthy stepfather, her unlikely savior is the farmer Mr. Toad — a little man with a taste for women's corsets. Together with their two children, they weather the hardship of rural life and the mockery of their neighbors. But with the arrival of two Italian prisoners of war, their lives are turned upside down. Thousands of miles from home, Antonio and John find themselves on Mr. and Mrs. Toad's farm, exiles in the company of exiles."
The Long Song ~ by Andrea Levy, 2010, fiction (Jamaica)
"The child of a field slave on the Amity sugar plantation in Jamaica, July lives with her mother until Mrs. Caroline Mortimer, a recently transplanted English widow, decides to move her into the great house and rename her “Marguerite.” Together they live through the bloody Baptist War and the violent and chaotic end of slavery."
Cemetery of Dreams ~ by S. Mostofi, 2010, fiction (Iran)
"In the wake of the Iranian revolution and the hostage crisis, Arman seeks to avoid his country's political turmoil and focus on his own problems. His father, a former general under the Shah, is in the hospital. His American fiancée, Julia, the daughter of one of the hostages, is in hiding in his home and growing increasingly distraught as the crisis stretches on. But when a former agent in the Shah s secret police blackmails him into joining a CIA-supported coup against the new regime, Arman is drawn into the revolutionary vortex. The book shows lower-class Iranians who used the revolution for revenge against the upper classes, patriots who joined the revolution to end the Shah s tyranny, and the opportunists who were willing to turn any political upheaval to their advantage."
FOOTNOTE:  As a Day 5 Giveaway Winner during Armchair BEA last week, I was instructed to choose from a huge list of giveaways.  I narrowed it down to these books.  Which of these would you pick?

Monday, May 30, 2011

My great-great-great-great-grandparents

Nancy Parks Setliff and Joseph John Setliff IV
My siblings and I got an email from our brother Saturday, with this photo attached.  Our family name is Setliffe, with an "e" on the end because my grandmother decided the name didn't look finished.
Sending you a picture of Joseph John Setliff IV and his wife, Nancy Parks.  Joseph was born 30 May 1782 and died 24 May 1870.  Nancy Parks was born 02 November 1791 and died 24 August 1865.  These people are our Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparents.  Thought you might like to see it.

Love you all,
I wish the photo weren't so fuzzy, but it's still interesting to see my own ancestors.  Jim tells me it's fuzzy because it's a copy from an original print done on glass before film was used.

Great-great-great-great is FOUR greats in the past, plus grandparents, plus parents, plus my generation, and I have a couple of great-great grandchildren of my own.  Let's see, how's my math?  Really, all I need to do is count on my fingers:
  1. Joseph and Nancy, born in 1782 and 1791
  2. their son, my great-great-great-grandfather
  3. his son, my great-great-grandfather
  4. his son, my great-grandfather
  5. his son, my grandfather, born in 1891 (see below)
  6. his son, my dad, born with an "e" on his name in1918
  7. me, born in 1940
  8. my three kids, born in the 1960s
  9. their seven children, born between 1986 and 2000
  10. my two great-grandchildren, born in 2009 and 2010
That makes ten generations.  Wow!  This list also spans parts of four centuries:  1700s, 1800s, 1900s, and 2000s.  I just noticed Nancy and Joseph (pictured above) lived through the American Civil War (1860s), including the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (April 1865).

On Sunday, Jim sent a link to a 1917 document about our grandfather, and I see he was still signing his name without the "e" a year and a half before my father was born.  I didn't realize he was born in Alabama (though I knew that grandmother was from Dinwiddy County, Virginia).  He lists a wife who is "dependent on him for support," but no children yet.  (Click on the document to enlarge it.)

My father was W. E. Setliffe, Jr., and he signed his middle name with that same rounded "E" for Elmer. His "W" in William was different, though, and also more rounded.  Here's a photo of my father's father (who signed this form) when he was 16.  I've posted a close-up of it before.  I knew that he was a meatcutter because I have an old advertisement for the Setliff Meat Market.  I didn't know he had once been a deputy sheriff.

Okay, one last thing and then I'm through with genealogy stuff on this blog.  Last summer, when I reported on the closing of the church I grew up in, I posted photos of a bronze plaque dedicating the organ in honor of those from the church who served in World War Two.  You can see my father's name, spelled with an "e" on the end.

So here's another (unplanned) Monday Memories post.  It's very different from the first one and not at all book related.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Books I — literally — couldn't give away

Dear Mr. Henshaw ~ by Beverly Cleary, 1983, YA novel
Summary:  "Leigh Botts has been author Boyd Henshaw's number one fan ever since he was in second grade. Now in sixth grade, Leigh lives with his mother and is the new kid at school. He's lonely, troubled by the absence of his father, a cross-country trucker, and angry because a mysterious thief steals from his lunchbag. Then Leigh's teacher assigns a letter-writing project. Naturally Leigh chooses to write to Mr. Henshaw, whose surprising answer changes Leigh's life."
The People: No Different Flesh ~ by Zenna Henderson, 1967, fantasy
Summary:  "A race from another planet become marooned on earth. The People have the very best of human qualities: love, gentleness, spirituality; and also special powers of healing, levitation and other abilities.  One stormy night, Mark and Meris find a young girl, who has fallen in a capsule from the sky and has special abilities. The couple are still grieving the loss of their own baby and must come to terms with the emotional issues that caring for the young girl creates in both of them."
Forgiveness Is a Work as Well as a Grace ~ by Edna Hong, 1984, religion
One sentence from the book jumped out at me, as I flipped through it just now:  "I might have succeeded in forgetting the event if it had not so obstinately persisted in remembering me" (p. 77).  That's the problem with the saying "forgive and forget," isn't it?  I decided to read this book.
The Faded Flower ~ by Paul McCusker, 2001, fiction
Funny, the difference a few hours can make. At 4:30 p.m., Frank Reynolds still has a sense of accomplishment and control. By five o'clock, he's lost his job of twenty-two years. By six o'clock, he's learned of his father's Alzheimer's disease. An hour-and-a-half is all it has taken to turn Frank's world upside down, thrusting him and his family onto a path none of them could ever have expected.  The one certain thing now is change.
Mother Nature's Greatest Hits: The Top 40 Wonders of the Animal World ~ by Bartleby Nash, 1991, nature/humor
From the Foreword:  "The animal kingdom provides an endless source of amusement and fascination for the casual observer ... The more we study the astounding range and diversity of animal life and behavior on this planet, the more wondrous nd unfathomable Mother Nature's creation appears.  Yet every day, whole species disappear forever from the face of the earth.  And when they vanish into extinction, their unique contribution to the grand experiment of life on this planet vanishes with them."
Myths of the Greeks and Romans ~ by Michael Grant, 1962, history (Meditarranean world)
Grant demonstrates the dynamic effect that ancient mythology has had on the creative efforts of succeding centuries. He summarizes all the myths as well as the legends of the lesser gods and heroes, and traces their origins in historical fact or religious myth. He then shows how myths have continued to evolve throughout the ages. The author's brilliant investigations lead from Pericles to Picasso, Homer to Freud, Apuleius to Grimm - and prove that mythological themes have been continuously restated in art, science, and folklore, up to the present day.
Another resident of my gated senior community came into the computer room while I was working on this post.  She got excited about this book about myths and, when I told her it was one of the books I couldn't even give away, she offered to buy it.  I told her it was hers.  It had, after all, been left outside after my yard sale along with a "free books" sign.

Which leads me to the subject line of this post.  When I took part yesterday in the neighborhood yard sale, I sold only 43 books.  Rather than pack up several boxes of books that were left, I changed my YARD SALE sign to FREE BOOKS.

A man who had bought books earlier came back by my house, saw the sign, and stopped again, leaving with another box full of books.  I left the rest of the books outside another couple of hours, and when I came back, there were still books unclaimed, including these six that I decided to read (well, except for the book on myths I gave away while typing this to post Sunday morning).  I'll donate the rest to the "library" where I live — which consists of three bookshelves where readers living here leave books for anyone else who wants to read them.

P.S.  Night by Elie Wiesel, who won the 1986 Novel Peace Prize, was also left. It's about the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944-1945. The central event in it, for me and many others, is when a boy dies slowly on the gallows (pp. 61-62):
Behind me, I heard the same man asking: Where is God now?
And I heard a voice within me answer him: ... Here He is—He is hanging here on this gallows.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A cat's life

Bonnie wandered into the room when she heard me playing this video, so I told her it was about life with an engineer.

She snorted and told me that, years before I came to live with her, she divorced an engineer.

Huh!  I didn't know that.  I think I would divorce an engineer, too, if he was like these guys.

I think those cats are awfully patient, don't you?

Kiki Cat, signing off

Friday, May 27, 2011

Withheld news ~ book beginnings

Caleb's Crossing ~ by Geraldine Brooks, 2011, fiction (Massachusetts)
"He is coming on the Lord's Day. Though my father has not seen fit to give me the news, I have the whole of it."
I'm intrigued.  Who is "he"?  Why didn't her father tell her about it?  What's going on, anyway?

I really like all of the books by Geraldine Brooks that I've read, fiction and nonfiction, and would recommend any of them to you.  These are the books I've read, one nonfiction and all three of her other novels.
  • Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women (1994, NF)
  • Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague (2001, set in England)
  • March (2005, set in the USA, about the father of the "Little Women")
  • People of the Book (2008, set in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
If you want to play along, this meme is hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages.  Share the first sentence or two of the book you are reading.  (Sometimes it takes several sentences to get the full thought.)  Then, share your impressions of that beginning.  Click this link to see what others say about the books they are reading this week.

Yard sale ~ books, books, and more books

4603 St. Elmo Ave.

Large selection of Books (hardbacks and paperbacks),
along with household items, a 35-mm camera,
and miscellaneous other stuff

Look for the Book Buddies sign in front of the house.

Just as we did last year, Donna and Bonnie (the Book Buddies) will be selling books tomorrow during the annual St. Elmo neighborhood yard sale. This sign is the small one that hung beside the back entrance of our (former) bookstore. It's already out in front of my house because BOOKS are the big deal, most of them this year for only a quarter. Luckily, I have a covered front porch for the books, in case it rains.

We're also on the neighborhood map!  Right in the middle.  Move your cursor over the pin points — hover over one for a title, or click for more details.

Armchair BEA ~ blogging about blogging

Today's topic for Armchair BEA week is — Blogging about blogging
How do you keep your blog fresh and interesting to your readers and yourself?
Early on, I decided not to limit my this blog to books.  As I say under my profile picture, "I read to explore ideas."  My slogan indicates I interpret that very broadly:  "Blogging about books and life since January 2007."
I include book reviews and ideas sparked by my reading, but also family activities and memes sent by other bloggers.  I even let my cat blog about whatever interests her.

Things changed dramatically around here when I got a digital camera and then a cell phone with camera, that I always had with me.  I was now able to post more than book covers I had found online.  Photos break up the blocks of words and make my blog more visually appealing.

Even though I wrote book reviews for a Chattanooga newspaper back in the 1960s, it felt different writing on my blog.  When I discovered that Dewey used a set of questions to give structure to her reviews, I started assembling my own sets of questions (notice that's plural).  The bloggers I found seemed to read mostly fiction, but I read lots of memoirs and nonfiction, as well.  Having taught college classes on religions of the world, I'm interested in religion, history, and cultures.  I made lists specifically for books of fiction, nonfiction, and memoirs.  It doesn't work to discuss characters and plot and point of view in a book about history or a memoir, for instance.

The questions were tools for collecting my thoughts about what I'd read, never to follow slavishly.  Over time, my list of questions solidified (see them in my Book review questions post).  Eventually, however, I quit using those questions in what I wrote, preferring instead to make what I said more personal.  One thing I never omit, even now:  "Title, author, copyright date, and genre."
Here are two examples of how I have done reviews.  The first one uses my list of questions, but I reviewed the other two together, comparing and contrasting them because they had a similar theme (death and traveling).  I highly recommend all three.
Latitudes of Melt ~ by Joan Clark, 2000, fiction (Canada), 9/10
Whirligig ~ by Paul Fleischman, 1998, YA fiction, 9/10
Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral ~ by Kris Radish, 2006, fiction, 9/10
I could go on, but ... enough!  My best short summary of what to include in a review:
Was it a good book?
Would you recommend it?
What did you like about it?
What did you dislike?
Tell us whatever you thought.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Armchair BEA ~ nurturing relationships

Today's topic for Armchair BEA week is — Nurturing Relationships
Post about a relationship you've formed with a particular publisher, author, blogger, or bookstore; share your thoughts and tips about connecting and building those relationships.
I've had trouble all day coming up with something that fits this category.  Then I realized I could talk about the discussion I'm having with Helen of Helen's Book Blog.  I told you about her yesterday, when Armchair BEA suggested we work the network by pointing out some of our favorite bloggers.  Her post about bloggers included me, and since then we've been discussing what she said, I said, she said, I said.  Like this:
Helen wrote:
"It's funny, I think Bonnie and I are very different in some ways (age, stage of life, geography, religion), yet I really enjoy seeing what books she is reading and hearing about her family and life."

I left a comment:"
I'm old enough to be your mother and live over 1900 miles from you, but we may not be as far apart on religion as you imagine. I've been thinking about this all day and have decided to write about it at greater length than I can do here — maybe I can say it all in a blog post, or maybe my explanation will require a whole book. I'll start with my opinion that the best way to 'get to' people and change their thinking is to do it from the INSIDE, not by trying to punch holes in their beliefs from the outside, which never works. Does that give you a clue where I'm headed?"

Helen responded:
"I do get what you're saying and I almost didn't list religion as a difference between us because of how I think you are on certain issues... I feel like we're being careful and subversive!"

And I said:
"Careful and subversive — the nicest thing anyone has said about me in ages! Thanks!  I am, however, glad you mentioned religion. You notice I don't say a lot about specifics on my blog, and I debated with myself a long time before adding two specific words to my 'intro' of myself on Monday. Maybe this will prod me to figure out how to say what I've been trying to say for years. I want to be a more vocal heretic before I die, especially since two of my three children already think I'm going to hell in a handbasket."
And now you want to know what those two little words were, don't you?  Here's an abridged version of what I wrote:
"Besides being a grandmother, I'm an ordained minister, a former bookstore owner, and a friend of a cat named Kiki."
Ordained and minister — those are the two words that I don't talk about a lot, at least not on this blog.  There are two reasons why I don't — first, people tend to box me in by assuming they know what I think because they've seen enough loud-mouthed preachers on television, and second, a lot of people still believe women have no place in the pulpit and want to hit me over the head with the quote from the Bible that "women should be silent in the churches" (First Corinthians 14:34).  Obviously, I disagree on both counts.

Those who assume they know my thinking frequently dismiss me — even before I say a word! — because they disagree with that kind of thinking, which isn't even the way I think.  I usually let people learn that I don't have a closed mind BEFORE mentioning what I did before I retired.  (Actually, the last "job" I had, after I retired from ministry, was bookstore owner and bookseller.  It's easier to discuss that aspect of my life on a book blog.)

Thank you, Helen, for nudging me to talk about this on my blog.  I love it when relationships open up opportunities to know each other better.  Helen may turn out to be appalled at some of my thinking (and if you are, Helen, I hope we can discuss it — whether here in this open forum or more privately in emails).  I don't agree with everything Christians say they believe, which is why my daughters consider me heretical and why I'll have more to say on this subject in the days to come, right here on Bonnie's Books.

Ah, just in time!  I checked back at Helen's Book Blog to see if she had said any more on this subject.  She had, five minutes ago:
Helen said:
"Bonnie--ah, a subversive heretic...my kind of woman!"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Library Loot ~ May 25-31

Clara and Mr. Tiffany ~ by Susan Vreeland, 2011, fiction
Summary:  "It’s 1893, and at the Chicago World’s Fair, Louis Comfort Tiffany makes his debut with a luminous exhibition of innovative stained-glass windows, which he hopes will honor his family business and earn him a place on the international artistic stage. But behind the scenes in his New York studio is the freethinking Clara Driscoll, head of his women’s division. Publicly unrecognized by Tiffany, Clara conceives of and designs nearly all of the iconic leaded-glass lamps for which he is long remembered.  Clara struggles with her desire for artistic recognition and the seemingly insurmountable challenges that she faces as a professional woman, which ultimately force her to protest against the company she has worked so hard to cultivate. She also yearns for love and companionship, and is devoted in different ways to five men, including Tiffany, who enforces to a strict policy: he does not hire married women, and any who do marry while under his employ must resign immediately. Eventually, like many women, Clara must decide what makes her happiest—the professional world of her hands or the personal world of her heart."
Once Upon A Time, There Was You ~ by Elizabeth Berg, 2011, fiction
Synopsis:  This one's about "a man and woman, long divorced, who rediscover the power of love and family in the midst of an unthinkable crisis.  Even on their wedding day, John and Irene sensed that they were about to make a mistake. Years later, divorced, dating other people, and living in different parts of the country, they seem to have nothing in common — nothing except the most important person in each of their lives: Sadie, their spirited eighteen-year-old  daughter. Feeling smothered by Irene and distanced from John, Sadie is growing more and more attached to her new boyfriend, Ron.  When tragedy strikes, Irene and John come together to support the daughter they love so dearly. What takes longer is to remember how they really feel about each other."
Library Loot is a weekly meme co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.  Claire has the Mister Linky this week, if you'd like to share a list of the loot you brought home.

Armchair BEA ~ working the network

Today's topic for Armchair BEA week is — Working the Network.
Write a post highlighting some of your favorite book blogs and bloggers.
Great!  I want to tell you about three book bloggers I read regularly.

Poppets ice skating in Mississippi
Nancy (Bookfoolery and Babble) told us about herself in her intro for Armchair BEA.  I like it that she uses poppets and kitties to help her do reviews.  I confess that it was Bookfool's Fiona Fridays, featuring the kitties, that inspired me to let Kiki write on Caturdays.  Nancy also has a blog called The blog I created for no good reason.  I love the way her mind works!  And I love the way she works her camera, sprinkling photos all over her blog — top, bottom, and sides, as well as in her posts.

Helen (age 10) in California
Helen (Helen's Book Blog) is a school librarian who reviews lots of YA novels.  You'll want to read her BEA introduction and see her BEA giveaway post.  (Wait, wait!  No, not yet!  Come back!)  Shucks, I wanted to tell them how much I trust Helen's reviews.  Whenever I can, I get the books she recommends because we tend to like the same books.  I joined her Middle East Reading Challenge — you should, too, or at least read some of the reviews participants have written.

Sheila's coffee cup in Minnesota
Sheila (Book Journey) isn't doing Armchair BEA because she's in New York enjoying the real thing.  This is her second year to attend BookExpo America.  Sheila hosts It's Monday!  What Are You Reading? each week, while engaged in activities such as working, traveling, blogging her daily Morning Meanderings, long-distance biking, and writing a prodigious number of book reviews.  I don't know how she does it all.

Did you notice these blogger friends are scattered all over the United States?  Look at this map, and find Nancy down in Mississippi (MS), Helen on the left in California (CA), Sheila up in Minnesota (MN), and I'm to the right of them all because Chattanooga is in eastern Tennessee (TN), directly above the state of Georgia (GA).  Oops!  I forgot that Sheila is currently attending BEA in New York (NY), up there on the right.  I guess that puts me in the middle — or in a muddle.  Whatever!  Oh, well, boys and girls, you may now get out your crayons and color in the states, starting with those I've named.

And thus we work the network which spreads not only to these states, but (in my case) to Utah, Texas, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, Oregon, and more.  My network extends to various places in Canada and Australia and (formerly) to the Netherlands.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA ~ best of 2011

Today's topic for Armchair BEA week is — Best of 2011.
Share some of your favorite books so far this year.
Here are my monthly favorites, so far (though I'm not yet finished with the merry month of May):

If I Stay ~ by Gayle Forman, 2009, YA fiction, 10/10

The Art of Racing in the Rain ~ by Garth Stein, 2008, fiction, 10/10

Sing You Home ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2011, fiction (Rhode Island), 9.5/10

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! : Voices from a Medieval Village ~ by Laura Amy Schlitz, 2007, children's (England), 10/10

The Invention of Hugo Cabret ~ by Brian Selznick, 2007, YA fiction (France), 10/10

Armchair BEA suggests that we work the network tomorrow, so I'll be pointing out some of my favorite book blogs and bloggers.  Can you guess any of those I'll name?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA ~ a bit about me

Today's topic for Armchair BEA week is — Who are you, and how do you Armchair?
Introduce yourself to any new visitors, including a bit about how you’re doing Armchair BEA — where you are, what you’re excited about, what you hope will happen this week.
The photo above is me with my youngest grandchild in 2008. I like that picture of Cady, at a time when she had become my assistant book reviewer. She would give her opinion of books I gave her to read, like the book And Tango Makes Three, that I posted the day before her eighth birthday.  (Click on the title to read Cady's review.)  Besides being a grandmother, I'm an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church (retired — click and read about #6), a former bookstore owner (which is why I recommend indies, or independent bookstores), and a friend of a cat named Kiki (who thinks I'm her personal slave, to feed her, brush her, honor and keep her — oh, wait, I think I kind of veered off into the wedding vows).

How do I "armchair"?  That's a new verb for me, but I plan to spend Armchair BEA week writing a post a day and visiting other blogs to see what others have written.  I'm "sitting pretty" in my armchair, and Cady just today graduated from the fifth grade.  It's Cady's day!

Edited to add details about Cady's awards.  My daughter said:
"She is an amazing kid......she got several ribbons and a medal.... she got ribbons for being Star Roll, perfect attendance, and participating in the Science Olympiad competition at Chattanooga State (Daisy Elementary rated 6th place out of 24 Hamilton County elementary schools competing), and the medal was the "Presidential Award" which I understand rates higher than Star Roll (which is all A's) and is given to students who make Star Roll and are all around good citizens, etc., sort of thing.  Needless to say, I'm very proud of her!"
So am I!  The photo below is my profile picture, but that is not MY armchair — mine is actually a recliner so I can put my feet up and relax while reading.