Archive from September, 2016
Sep 30, 2016 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on When Your Impulse Buy Inspires You

When Your Impulse Buy Inspires You

I finally made it to Costco yesterday, after three days of vomit, diarrhea, and SO MUCH LAUNDRY with my littles.  My toddler was more or less recovered, my 4-year-old had bouts of energy interspersed with exhaustion (at least he was keeping things down!), and I was SO GRATEFUL TO BE OUT OF MY HOUSE.  I was walking by the bread aisle, the one with the endcap of evil things like lemon bars and brownie bites, when I spotted the Maple French Toast bagels.

Yes.  Maple French Toast bagels.  They smell even better than they sound.

Anyway, I couldn’t resist, because hey, they can be breakfast, right?  And then–a few hours later–it hit me.

I can made a homemade version of the Bacon, Egg, & Cheese McGriddle with these (I’m not all that into fast food, but oh my GOSH that thing is amazing)!  And it ought to be mild enough on recovering stomachs that I can do it for dinner tonight!  That was a good moment, let me tell you–and it worked out more or less like I’d planned.  Here’s what I did:

–Fried up some bacon

–Lightly buttered my egg pan, cracked three eggs into it, and swirled around a spatula to break the yolks; I sprinkled with salt and pepper and put the pan on low heat, flipped my egg-disc when it started to gel on top, and cut the resulting circle into bagel sized quarters.

–Sliced some cheddar.  American slices would work here–that’s what’s on the original–but I never have any.  You want to slice thinly.

–Toasted the bagel halves and buttered them.

–Layered the cheese, egg, and bacon onto the toasted, buttered bagel half.

–Cut up some fruit to complete the meal.


Try it, people.  If you live for buttery maple goodness–with bacon!–try it today.

Sep 28, 2016 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Parenting is Messy

Parenting is Messy

It’s not that I don’t get the sentiment behind the “treasure this time, they grow up so fast” mantra, but realistically, there’s a lot about this week I’d rather forget than treasure.  The night before last was all about vomit, vomit, and more vomit from my littles; last night was peaceful, but tonight my very-well-potty-trained 4-year-old son is on his second DIAPER.  (He hasn’t slept in diapers for a year.)  First it was diarrhea; then it was diarrhea AND vomit.  Which means that all of the food I was grateful he’d kept down today didn’t actually stay down (or in).  Which means I’m feeling a little freaked out at the moment.

There have, however, been a few moments worth treasuring.  Snuggling with your littles when they’re sick is a different kind of sweet, and watching my 1-year-old lay her head on her brother’s shoulder as they watched “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” at 1 in the morning was adorable.  (So was listening to her attempt at “Oh, Toodles!)  And while my current book of choice is turning out to be a bit more emotionally draining than I was expecting, I did finish Daniel Pinkwater’s The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, and it was hysterical.

I’m not going to spoil the plot for you–it’s just a bit of a book, anyway–but what’s not to love about a 266 lb chicken named Henrietta?  Pinkwater’s zany humor is in full force here, and yet there are also sly bits of social commentary.  This is entertainment on more than one level, and while I’m looking forward to giving this one to my oldest to read, I’m also going to recommend it to my sister–who has lived in New Jersey.  (Not in Hoboken, true, but still.)

Bottom line?  Let this one be a bright spot in your week as well–and may that week be vomit-free!


The Hoboken Chicken Emergency

New From: $4.27 USD In Stock

Sep 26, 2016 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Feeling Political

Feeling Political

Here’s the thing.  I avoid politics like the plague on FB, I don’t read books on politics, and I generally don’t discuss politics with people, because I don’t want to go there.  It’s a scary place, and it fills me with impotent fury, because why can’t people admit that there is often good on both sides, not to mention good reasons that people might disagree?  And why can’t people see the scariness?  (I especially can’t handle watching presidential debates for long, because I just want to scream ANSWER THE ACTUAL QUESTION, PEOPLE! over and over and over.)  Tonight, however, I managed to watch more of the debate than I did four years ago (I think it lessens the fury when you’re not exactly rooting for either candidate), and it only reaffirmed my current political goal.  I’ve been planning on voting third party for some time, because I can’t in good conscience vote for either major party’s candidate, but more than that, I desperately want Trump to lose Utah.  I’ve never lived in a swing state–RI was about as Democratic as Utah is Republican–but this year, in this election, we have a chance to make a statement in the Beehive state.  We have a chance to stand up and say that principles are more important than parties.  I’d rather Hilary than Trump, but just imagine if a third party took Utah.  How could that NOT be good for politics in this country?

Let’s make that statement, Utahns.  Let’s stir things up.

Let’s make history.

Sep 24, 2016 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Too Good To Miss

Too Good To Miss

As I’ve said before, I usually don’t review the books that I skim on the treadmill before handing over to my daughter; I don’t feel like I’ve fully read them, and I’m a tad OCD about that.  Beetle Boy, however, was too good to skip.  It’s new this year and I ended up loving it; my daughter read it, loved it, and is now experiencing all the frustration of reading the first book in a series when it’s new and then having to wait to find out what happens next.

Beetle Boy begins with Darkus Cuttle, who is living with his Uncle Max since his father mysteriously disappeared.  He knows his father would never have just abandoned him, so he and two friends from his newest school make a pact to find him; Uncle Max agrees with Darkus, and he starts asking questions as well.

Then there are the beetles.

This book was nothing at all like I expected, really.   I think I assumed from the title that it would be more of a boy-oriented book, and boy books with bugs aren’t generally my first choice.  (Unless, of course, they take place decades ago, because I do have the obsession with historical fiction.)  In reality, Darkus’s relationship with his friends reminded me a bit of Harry, Ron, and Hermione; not so much specifically, but in its partnership feel that rendered gender unimportant.  The beetles themselves, far from being creepy, threatening, or gross, are completely cool, and I loved the way the story developed.  (The climax was fabulous.)  It’s exciting, and original, and thoroughly enjoyable; maybe “The Goonies” meets “The Mummy” meets Harry Potter meets A Wrinkle in Time meets The Secret Garden.

Okay, well, I may have gotten a little crazy there, but really.  My friend’s going-on-twelve-year-old loved it, my going-on-ten-year-old loved it, I loved it–you’ll love it.

Seriously.  You can’t miss this one.

Beetle Boy

New From: $10.00 USD In Stock

Sep 22, 2016 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Series Spotlight

Series Spotlight

When my daughter asked me to get My Teacher is an Alien for her at the library, I mentally shrugged–not my thing, but if she was interested, why not?  Bruce Coville’s “My Teacher” quartet, however, was both more fun and more interesting than I expected it to be.  These books are accessible, entertaining, and thought-provoking, and while they STILL aren’t actually my thing, I’m glad I went through them on the treadmill while they were hanging around the house.  If you’ve got a middle elementary school-er who likes sci-fi (or action!), this is a series worth getting.


My Teacher Is an Alien (My Teacher Books)

New From: $4.51 USD In Stock

Sep 20, 2016 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Make No Mistake…

Make No Mistake…

I finished Joyce Carol Oates’ After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away three or four days ago, but I’ve been putting off this review because my feelings about this book are complicated.  A quote from The West Wing has been running through my mind:

Well, first of all, let’s not kid ourselves.  The Reykjavik Symphony can play.   These guys have some serious game.

(I really loved the first few seasons of that show, by the way.  I disagreed with the politics fairly frequently, but oh, I loved it!)

President Bartlet pretty much summed up my thoughts about Joyce Carol Oates right there.  The woman can write.  I hated the poem by her I read in junior high, mind you, but it took me quite a while to grow up enough to appreciate and admire writing that I didn’t find personally enjoyable.  (“Death of a Salesman” did a lot for me in that respect–props to Arthur Miller.)  After the Wreck isn’t precisely my cup of tea, either topically OR stylistically, but it was incredibly well done.  Jenna’s downward spiral after surviving the car accident that killed her mother feels all too believable, even if the parent in me was tearing her hair out over it, and the stream-of-consciousness-ish style worked in a way few others would have.  Some characters were far more developed than others, but that made sense with Jenna as the narrator.  Crow, as the older boy who helps Jenna deal with her trauma, seemed somewhat improbable, but he certainly wasn’t impossible.  It ended rather abruptly for me, but that worked in context, I think.

Bottom line?  Ultimately, this wasn’t my thing, but it was an excellent novel nonetheless.  If it is your thing, don’t miss it.

Sep 18, 2016 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Well, THAT Was A Weird Book…

Well, THAT Was A Weird Book…

What do bloodsucking iguanas, aliens, and abandoned children have in common?  Anyone?  Anyone?  (Bueller?)


They are, of course, integral plot components of Look Out For The Fitzgerald-Trouts, which is the sort of book you’d get if you crossed The Swiss Family Robinson with The Boxcar Children and Pippi in the South Seas and made Roald Dahl the author.  It tells the tale of the Fitzgerald-Trout children, who have a complicated family tree and aren’t all actually related to each other, but are still very firmly brothers and sisters.  They live in their car and look after themselves; Kim (the oldest) is actually quite a safe driver (even if she needs stew cans attached to her shoes to reach the pedals).  As they grow, however, the car is starting to feel cramped, and so finding a house has moved up to the top of their to-do list.  How they do so is quite the ride, beginning in jail and ending past the bloodsucking iguanas.  (My personal favorite attempt may have been an aborted night in what was clearly IKEA under an assumed name.)

Make no mistake–this is a strange book.  It is, however, quite the tale; it drew me in quickly and kept me reading.  If your elementary schooler enjoys humorous adventure, he or she is certainly going to find it here!

Sep 16, 2016 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Another Two-fer

Another Two-fer

I wanted to finish either one of the novels I’ve almost done with, but I was up from 1-3 this morning and I was incredibly sleepy today.  I did, however, read a bunch of picture books ‘one last time’ with my kiddos before putting them in the library bag to go back, and these two are standouts for me.

BookSpeak!: Poems About Books is a must for every book lover.  The poems are told from the book’s/part of the book’s point of view, and the index’s poem cracked me up; the Middle’s Lament (a poem for three voices) was fabulous, and the End poem was simply perfect.  If you love books, you absolutely CANNOT miss this one.

Normal Norman, on the other hand, will appeal to just about anyone.  The junior scientist/narrator is using Norman (presumably a gorilla) to illustrate what “normal” is; unfortunately for her, Norman keeps exhibiting behaviors that are anything but.  He will crack you up even as he quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) turns the (useless) idea of “normal” on its head.

It doesn’t matter if you have kids, folks.  These two are worth reading either way.  Enjoy!

Sep 14, 2016 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on This and That

This and That

  1.  We currently have 196 library books in our house–and more on hold.
  2.  I officially have a plane ticket to attend my 20th  high school reunion, which means RI in October, which means I want to dance around singing, “I’ve got a golden ticket!”
  3.  AND my glasses are in at Costco.  It almost killed me not to be able to pick them up today, but tomorrow–here I come!
  4.  I’m bringing soup to a women’s service project for my church tomorrow night, so I made a BIG pot tonight for dinner.  (I’ll have someone else’s tomorrow!)  Now, what do I serve my kiddos before I leave?
  5.  My bed looks like a laundry room exploded on top of it.  I’ve miles of folding to do before I sleep.
  6.  But I’m going to RI in October!
Sep 12, 2016 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on A Worthy Pair

A Worthy Pair

Among the books we’re returning to the library this week are Doreen Rappaport’s Lady Liberty:  A Biography and Carole Boston Weatherford’s Voice of Freedom:  Fannie Lou Hamer:  The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement.  These are picture books meant for older elementary students or adults, really.  Lady Liberty is a series of vignettes from different perspectives about how the Statue of Liberty came to be; Voice of Freedom is a series of poems about the life of an amazing civil rights activist that I had never even heard of.  Their illustrations are lovely and their stories are fascinating.

You should read them.