Wednesday, March 31, 2021

New book or old book?

Is this the "secret" of finally reading all the books I already have?
I may have to read two — or five or ten — old books in between.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Right now ~ a series of three books for children

Right Now, I Am Fine ~ by Daniela Owen, illustrated by Gülce Baycik, 2020, children's picture book, 10/10
This book is a mindfully written self-help guide to aid children in dealing with stress and anxiety, by uncovering their emotions and following a simple calming routine. Dr. Daniela Owen, PhD, is a clinical child psychologist in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She works primarily with children, adolescents, and their families and specializes in using evidence-based treatments to help with managing anxiety, worry, anger, and low mood.  Through her children’s books, she brings to life concepts and strategies that can be helpful for children everywhere.
Right Now, I Am Brave ~ by Daniela Owen, illustrated by Gülce Baycik, 2020, children's picture book, 10/10
The second book of the Right Now series provides an excellent tool for parents to help their children learn what it means to be brave by explaining the choice we all have when we face situations that may make us anxious or fearful.  This book is perfect for the uncertain times we face today and can be very effective in teaching children how to deal with their fears.
Right Now, I Am Kind ~ by Daniela Owen, illustrated by Gülce Baycik, 2020, children's picture book, 10/10
Sometimes children just want to think about themselves, but we live in a world with lots of other people.  It's important to be aware of and kind to all of these other people.  This third book of the Right Now series is a guide for children to help them understand why being aware is important and what actions they can do to show kindness.  The book helps children learn what it means to be kind and aware of other people.
I "read" this series of books being narrated on YouTube videos.  To hear the slow and soothing narrator of the first book, click here.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Find my cat challenge

Try to find a cat in each picture.  One actually has three cats.  Click on the images to enlarge them.  If you like this challenge, find more like these here.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Ramona ~ reading, reporting, and riding the bus

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 ~ by Beverly Cleary, 1981, children's book (Oregon), rated 10 of 10.  Click here to see what I posted yesterday about the book and the author.  I've read the book and love Ramona even more than I did before.  I like her interest in reading and even that she had excellent reasons for her choices, including the choice of words:
"Ramona decided that she preferred Sustained Silent Reading to D.E.A.R. because it sounded more grown-up.  When time came for everyone to Drop Everything And Read, she sat quietly doing her Sustained Silent Reading" (p. 22).
Ramona had an idea
"Nothing in the whole world felt as good as being able to make something from a sudden idea." (The quote and the drawing are both from page 78.  I photographed my Kindle to capture her artistic endeavor.)
Ramona's idea was to "sell" her classmates on the book by using masks to make herself and two friends into dancing cats, like in a commercial.  So she's making what she needs for the "show" she has in mind for her oral book report.

Riding the bus

Ramona was excited she could now ride the school bus alone, because she was a big girl in third grade.  Did you ride a school bus to elementary school?  I know we walked to and from school in the 1940s, even though we lived about a miles from the school, and I don't remember any school buses at all.  

We moved about two blocks outside of my school district when I was in third grade, so my first-grade brother and I rode a regular city bus for the last six or eight weeks of school in 1949.  I was in charge of getting us on the bus in each direction.  I turned nine a few weeks after we moved, and my brother was still six years old.  We even had to get off and transfer on a busy city street, both ways.  Our school was two block off the first bus route, and when we got off the second bus at home, we still had another block to walk.  That fall, we went to a different grammar school, close enough to walk there and back each day.  Most of the time, he walked with his friends, and I walked with mine.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Life as a third grader is tough!

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 ~ by Beverly Cleary, 1981, children's book
Ramona's job is to be nice to fussy Mrs. Kemp, who watches her while her mother works.  If Mrs. Quimby didn't work, Mr. Quimby couldn't return to college.  On top of all that, third grade isn't turning out as Ramona expected, even though she enjoys her class's new reading program, D.E.A.R.  Danny the Yard Ape teases her, and, on one horrible day, she throws up — at school.  Being eight isn't easy, but it's never dull!
Beverly Cleary, the author of this and many other books, has died at the age of 104.  I love her books.  When I read today that Beverly Cleary had died, I searched my blog to see what I've written about her and found this 2010 blog post, for example.  When I decided to write this post about her and searched the net for a photo, the one at the top is what I found.  I was not familiar with the book in her hands, so I looked it up online.
"In this special edition of Newbery Honor Book Ramona Quimby, Age 8, the timeless classic now features a special foreword written by actress, producer, and author Amy Poehler, as well as an exclusive interview with Beverly Cleary herself."
You may have guessed by now that I got it for my Kindle and will have the whole 119 pages read before bedtime tonight.   Did you notice D.E.A.R. above?  In case it's new to you, that acronym means "Drop Everything And Read."  That's sort of a slogan for book lovers.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Thursday thoughts

Sharon bought a mountain bike and brought it out into the hall tonight so I could see it.  She's excited, and I think she'll have a great time riding it around here.

We got another gift bag today, this one from the Occupational Therapy students at Washington University.  Thanks for the goodies and for being so thoughtful.

Donna finished another Bananagrams layout this evening.  Click to enlarge the picture.  I learned a new word from this, which is why I'm sharing it.  I thought "spiegel" was a name, which I don't think is allowed.  But no, Donna got it right.  A spiegel is (1) a mirror, or (2) the level of a liquid, or (3) the white (or light-colored) mark on an animal — like this deer, for example.  This information and the picture are both from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Spell check is wonderful ~ not!

Have you ever been frustrated by a device deciding for you how you should spell something?

Technically, it may be right about a word's spelling, but it can mess up your day when it does not know what you mean.  The spell checker on my iPhone is off because I know better than any robot how I want Clawdia's name to be spelled.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Not much to say today

A History of the World in 100 Objects ~ by Neil MacGregor, 2010, history
When did people first start to wear jewelry or play music?  When were cows domesticated, and why do we feed their milk to our children?  Where were the first cities, and what made them succeed?  Who developed math — or invented money?  The history of humanity is one of invention and innovation, as we have continually created new things to use, to admire, or leave our mark on the world.  Neil MacGregor turns to objects that previous civilizations have left behind to paint a portrait of mankind's evolution, focusing on unexpected turning points.  Beginning with a chopping tool from the Olduvai Gorge in Africa and ending with a recent innovation that is transforming the way we power our world, he urges us to see history as a kaleidoscope — shifting, interconnected, constantly surprising.
"A History of the World in 100 Objects" started as a joint project of BBC Radio 4 and the British Museum, which was broadcast over 20 weeks beginning in January of 2010.  I got this book for my Kindle yesterday because it looks like something fun to browse.  Here's my philosophy today:

Saturday, March 20, 2021

My Caturday post

I haven't posted much lately, so I decided to share what I'm thinking about right now.  Just so you know, that's not a picture of me.  It's a picture of my thoughts.

Clawdia, 'til next time    >^. .^<

Be happy!

Friday, March 19, 2021

Beginning ~ in the vineyards

It happened in the middle of a brightly moonlit night in the Beaujolais vineyards.  The official account ran over four typed pages in triplicate.
Vintage 1954 ~ by Antoine Laurain, translated by Jane Aitken and Emily Boyce, 2018 (translation 2019), fiction (France)
"This delightfully entertaining comic novel is genuinely heart warming stuff. ... Laurain, who has always liked to explore the absurd aspects of life, a very French literary trait, truly gives free rein to his imagination.  The result is a romantic tale of time travelling and affairs of the heart that leaves you feeling a bit better about the world (the world as it could be, not as it is)." — quoted from NB, a literary magazine

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for other book beginnings.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Exercise ~ using a resistance band

SilverSneakers has exercises we can do while using resistance bands.  Their Beginner's Guide has:
  1. Lat Pulldown
  2. Seated Row
  3. Band Side Step
  4. Clamshell
  5. Side Leg Lift
You can also find some exercises on YouTube.  If this video quits working, you can find it on YouTube by clicking here.

If you don't have a resistance band, you could just do these squats instead.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Exasperated? Exacerbated?

"Wages have not kept up with the pace of inflation, and the pandemic has exasperated the situation."  I read that online and laughed.  Here's what that word means and what the correct word should have been.
ex·as·per·ate / iɡ ˈzaspəˌrāt / verb
to irritate, frustrate, or annoy (someone) intensely.
Example = "My silliness exasperated my mother, but the current situation was NOT annoyed by the pandemic."
ex·ac·er·bate / iɡˈzasərˌbāt / verb
to make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.
Example = "The pandemic exacerbated the money problems of many people."

Confession ~ two more books

The Irish Inheritance ~ by M. J. Lee, 2016, historical fiction (Ireland)

Sometimes, digging up the past reveals more than secrets.  While searching for a billionaire client’s true ancestry, genealogist Jayne Sinclair follows a trail of secrets back to the Irish War of Independence.  She has only three clues to help her — a photocopied birth certificate, a stolen book, and an old photograph.  But the closer she gets to the truth, the more her investigation puts her life in danger.

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, I "bought" myself a free book for my Kindle with an Irish name and location.  It's free today, folks.  Unfortunately, the next one isn't.  Yes, being in a "bookstore" (even online) is dangerous for a bookie like me.  I had just read Nancy's review of Vintage 1954 by Antoine Laurain, discovered that my library does NOT have a copy, and neither does my nearby used book store.  So I downloaded this second book for my Kindle, even though it is NOT on sale.

Vintage 1954 ~ by Antoine Laurain, 2018, fiction (France)

When three residents of a Parisian apartment building and an Airbnb tenant from Milwaukee share drinks from an exceptional bottle of a 1954 Beaujolais, they find themselves waking up in 1950s Paris.  After their initial shock, the city of Edith Piaf and "An American in Paris" begins to work its charm on them.  The four delight in getting to know the French capital during this iconic period, while also playing with the possibilities that time travel allows.  But, ultimately, they need to work out how to get back to 2017, and time is of the essence.

Irish blessings for St. Patrick's Day

Monday, March 15, 2021

I love green mountains

These girls were dancing at the Highland Games held at Grandfather Mountain near Asheville, North Carolina.  Because most of my ancestors were from the British Isles (Scotland, Ireland, and England), I was excited to attend those Highland Games about forty years ago.  Now look at what my brother posted on Facebook today.

The Scottish Highlands and the Appalachians are the same mountain range, once connected.  Remnants of this massive mountain range include the Appalachian Mountains of North America, the Scottish Highlands, Ireland, parts of Greenland and Scandinavia, and the Little Atlas of Morocco.

National Napping Day

The first weekday after springing forward can be rough.
But we're in luck because today is National Napping Day!
I am definitely going to nap today.  How about you?

Sunday, March 14, 2021

National Pi Day

π (the Greek letter pi) is used in math for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter of that circle, or 3.14.  Today is the 14th day of the 3rd month, or simply 3.14 — do you see the connection?

Since the Greek letter π is pronounced exactly like "pie" (the dessert), this has become a day to eat pie and think about math.  Okay, you've already done enough thinking, if you aren't into math.  So let's celebrate the day.  And how do we do that?  By eating pie, of course!  Today, my friend Donna has ordered a pizza pie (Socrates Revenge* from Dewey's Pizza), and I got the dessert pie (key lime pie) from the grocery store.  Even though we'll be socially distanced, eating in our own apartments, we're still doing this together.

* Socrates Revenge is topped with red onions, black and green olives, spinach, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and a blend of mozzarella, fontina, and feta cheeses.

Added late in the day

Friday, March 12, 2021

Beginnings ~ his and hers

A week passed before I understood the enormity of my situation, a week before I realized I was dead.
Chapter One
Everyone has a story but I was never interested in telling my own.  I was an editor of books, not a writer.
Emily and Einstein: A Novel of Second Chances ~ by Linda Francis Lee, 2011, fiction (New York), 10/10

Emily and her husband Sandy Portman seemed to live a gracious if busy life in an old-world, Upper West Side apartment in the famous Dakota building.  But one night on the way to meet Emily, Sandy dies in a tragic accident.  The funeral isn't even over before Emily learns she is on the verge of being evicted from their apartment.  Worse than the possibility of losing her home, Emily is stunned to discover that her marriage was made up of lies.

Suddenly Emily is forced on a journey to find out who her husband really was . . . all the while feeling that somehow he isn't really gone.  Angry, hurt, and sometimes betrayed by loving memories of the man she lost, Emily finds comfort in a scruffy dog named Einstein.  But is Einstein's seemingly odd determination that she save herself enough to make Emily confront her own past?  Can he help her find a future — even after she meets a new man?

Instead of posting my book beginnings first thing today, I read the book instead.  It pulled me in and kept me flipping the pages.  Do I recommend it?  Oh, yeah.  But know ahead of time that it's not like other books.  For one thing, Emily's chapters are in one font type, and Einstein's are in a totally different font.  At first, I thought something was wrong with my Kindle when I couldn't "fix" the problem by reading in my chosen font.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for other book beginnings.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

The W Road

Somebody posted a video on Facebook about driving up the back side of Signal Mountain.  It made me wonder if there's also a YouTube video of what it's like to come up (or down) the W Road on the Chattanooga side of Signal Mountain, and I found several.  In this short video the driver goes up through the W turns and back down.  When my children were learning to drive, they had to navigate that road in a car with a stick shift.  They are all excellent drivers.  (The photo was taken in 1914.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

I've had my first shot

...and I'm still wearing my mask every time I leave my apartment.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Library Loot ~ a TWOsday report

My latest home delivery of library books should have been last Thursday, but I didn't get my bag of books until noon yesterday, along with the meal deliveries.  Why?  Well, probably because last Thursday we were lined up to get our first vaccine, and that was the priority of the day.  Staff who deliver the book bags to our doors have been working only Monday through Friday, making this the first day back at work.  Anyway, here's what I have from the library right now.

First are a couple of children's books about the buddy bench that I wrote about at the end of February, then a couple more for children about the pack horse librarians who delivered books in the hills of Kentucky.  And I did order a couple of adult books, as well.
  1. Everybody Needs a Buddy
    ~ by James Preller, illustrated by Stephan Gilpin, 2019, chapter book
  2. The Buddy Bench ~ by Patty Brozo, illustrated by Mike Deas, 2019, children's picture book
  3. Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky ~ by Kathi Appelt and Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer, 2001, children's history (ages 8-12)
  4. That Book Woman ~ by Heather Hensen, illustrated by David Small, 2008, children's fiction (ages 4-8)
  5. Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S. ~ by Lenny Duncan, 2019, religion
  6. The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good? ~ by Michael J. Sandel, 2020, ethics
I still have the two books from the last home delivery, where I also mentioned ordering two of the children's books that I just received.
  1. Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Why the Protests in Ferguson and Baltimore Matter, and How They Changed America
     ~ by Jennifer E. Cobbina, 2019, sociology
  2. The One ~ by John Marrs, 2017, fiction
Can I read four adult books and four children's books in two-and-a-half weeks?  Maybe.  I intend to try, though I can renew some of them for another three weeks.