Books Will Never Go Out of Print!

Grab a cup of coffee. Sit back. Check out meanderings about books I've loved.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Stocking Stuffer

Got my first Christmas stocking stuffer early. Surprise!

I now have a subscription to the Yakima-Herald Republic. Wow, now I will be able to tell what is going on in the area. Not that I always have time to read it, but that's another issue. We have been without a subscription since returning from France a few years ago...

Time to get with it.

This is what I learned today:

the Seahawks are playing today
a local church collected over 60 bears for the fire department
retailers are working hard to gain our money
acts of kindness are occurring throughout the nation
people still believe in Santa
our service men and women are still recovering from the war
there is only 1 day until Christmas
it will be 22 tonight
congress passes a payroll tax cut
a nativity picture is behind a local pastor, but Santa is all over the place
yarn bombing is a big hit
the presidential race wars are on
people die, babies are born
shoppers are out of control over some items
there are many, many things for sale

The list goes on. Kind of hard to find good news! There is much to be read in a newspaper. Take it all with a few grains of salt.

"A Daily Part of Your Life."
(sub-heading for the Yakima-Herald Republic)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Broke It

Used my new kindle off and on almost all day yesterday. It's not even a month old yet. Just finishing up my second book and playing some dictionary/crossword game (it was free from Amazon).

My kindle is so convenient, especially as we drove for about 12 hours yesterday. I finished one book just as we made it home. Quickly, while my man unloaded our package, I ordered the next book in the Inheritance series (one more review read to go, then on to the finale). Turned off the kindle as he got back in the van and headed home. Put my kindle away until later. That was it.

Fast forward to bedtime. Grabbed the kindle to start the new book. Crash. Nothing happened. Flashy green light and then nothing. Tried again. Same thing. Dread filled my head. I did not buy the PROTECT YOUR KINDLE extra warranty stuff.

First try. I went ahead and charged my kindle again. At last reading, I had over 3/4 of battery power left. But maybe something weird happened. It was still charging when I went to bed. In the middle of the night, the light was totally off, so I unplugged it until morning.

Immediately checked my kindle when I woke up. Pushed the on button. Nothing. Same flashy light and off. Dread, dread, DREAD! Did not want to think about returning and the run around sure to follow when dealing with an electronic item.

Booted up the computer and thought I would try first off with the web site. As I checked my account, I was slightly frightened by how much tracking of my personal stuff is allowed...shudder.

Finally found the trouble shooting spot for kindles. First choice - frozen kindle. That sounded like it could be it.

"Hold on button for 20 seconds and then the system will reboot."

I did it. Held the button down, even timed it. Let go and watched my kindle reboot and come back to me! Yay!

It might be a silly thing to pray for, but I was praying that my kindle would get back to working order without shipping, long phone calls, long wait times, and possible charges for repair.

What a thank you, Jesus!

Now you know. Hold the start button for 20 seconds. Let go and WAIT. Don't touch anything else. It works.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Did It!

I have a Kindle.

I never thought I would go that route, but boy am I enjoying the light weight carry-around as I read through the Christopher Paolini Inheritance books to catch up (remind myself of the plot line, characters, problems, etc.) before I read the newest release of the ending of the series. I love BIG books, but holding on to them...well, it can be challenging.

Not so with my Kindle. I have the touch screen, which is very difficult to work when I am falling asleep and trying to turn the page the old fashioned way, but usually I don't have any problems. Once I memorized which way to touch or swipe my fingers to go where I wanted -forward, backward, last chapter, next chapter, menu - it's quite simple. And so light weight.

The font is adjustable, the choices are unlimited for now, as far as books, the simplicity of ordering and downloading is amazing. I think it would be a good fit for people who need larger print, like my mother-in-law. I have even discovered a very fun word game that was free from Amazon. Not that I want to become hooked on games on my Kindle. No time for that...well, maybe just 5 minutes...

My favorite feature may be the light weight, compact size, especially for travel.

Now. If only I had a trip planned.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Taking a Leap

I love books!

I love the paper, the photos, the illustrations, the title pages, the blurbs...the comfort of holding in my hands the delight and excitement of story.

Information. Plot and character. Instruction. Encouragement. Confusion (you've read those types, too). Emotions. Challenge. All of that and more.

I fell for the convenience and asked for a Kindle for my birthday. Now I anxiously wait for the special delivery. One draw was the space saving, purse toting, suitcase emptying aspect of owning an electronic reader. Another enticement was the cutting edge type of technology, which usually doesn't woo me. I succumbed.

Never fear, my books, you are not being replaced. Rather, embraced and cherished. I still desire REAL books to surround me and make my home a place of comfort and coziness.

But for the travel and the sometimes here and now, I will have my Kindle.

Come on, mailman. I waiting.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Mitford Series (Subtitle: How to Find Cheap Books)

What's on my night stand right now? Inheritance (which is waiting until I can refresh the plot line, problems, setting, characters in my mind), Mockingjay (disturbingly violent but riveting for the intended audience), and Book number 6 in the Mitford Series, A Common Life, The Wedding Story.

Reflecting on the last book listed, I can't find my set of the Mitford Series. I've had them all, lost them all, and am in the process of recollecting them all. Easiest way would be to go to the store and buy the entire set, or go online and order the whole set. But where is the fun in that challenge?

My strategy: thrift stores ($1 or less is an appropriate price to my way of thinking); yard sales; online bargains (but usually out of my $1 price range due to shipping); and my most recent way to go - was an accidental find for me. But accidents are not always bad things. I joined, listed books I was willing to part with, and as soon as I gained my first point (one book sent to another subscriber, the mailer paying the postage), I was hooked - searching and hunting, requesting and waiting. It's a great deal!

Slowly, slowly, I have been recovering the entire series. I just began A Common Life, The Wedding Story. I love the character development for Father Tim and Cynthia, who is after all, an author and illustrator, someone near and dear to my heart. All of the characters are beautifully developed. Life happens, the good, the scary, the weird, the terrible. Seems to me that Mitford should and could be a real location.

What a nice way to drift off to sleep, visiting the reality of Mitford.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Reaching the World's Hungry

FYI - There are two new and wonderful resources available in the flick of a fleas' foot (downloadable from the Internet). Check these out if you want to teach a group about world hunger and get some discussion going on what to do to help.

Both are available from

World Hunger 101 - World Hunger Event Promotion Pack
by Angie Quantrell (gee, that name sounds familiar, hmmmm), $9.99. This downloadable booklet, posters, and plans give directions and information for a two-hour reality experience about hunger. Ideas and suggestions are given for ages preschool through adult. In our area, the northwest, October and November are months that reflect harvest, thankfulness, and giving to help those in need. This hunger experience and discussion will surely lead your group to reaching out to others.

Teaching Preschoolers About Hunger by Jennifer Cox (I know her, too!) is available for a longer focus on hunger. This resource will help preschoolers understand hunger in our country and world in an interactive 4-week study. This resource is also $9.99.

Ready to make an impact? Now you have the help to get going. Check them out!

Tip: Want to have a collection container that tells exactly what the money is for? also has the perfect savings bank - in the shape of a loaf of bread! It's called the World Hunger Bread Bank.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Farm

Our Farm, By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary is a beautiful book.

The imaginative poems are penned by Maya Gottfried and the life like paintings are by Robert Rahway Zakanitch. I just found this book listed on Amazon, but learned about it through my local library where I was checking out books for our farm theme.

Different artistic methods render endearingly sweet illustrations of farm animals. Each animal is represented by a hand-crafted poem perfectly sounding as if written by each particular animal. The animal 'voice' for each critter is funny and winsome and fits what we think farm animals are like in their actions and personality.

Kindergarteners loved the illustrations although some of the funny parts were above their heads. Still, this book is a delight to read and look at and laugh with.

Recommended by a youngster at heart.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Boy Needs Dirt

According to the book I am currently reading for a class, Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv, kids need outdoor time.

Dirt, water, mud, sand, rocks, sticks, trees, grass, plants, bugs, snakes, fish, birds...They need it all, combined with unstructured play and free time. Just to explore, dream, learn, conquer, expand...

The boy found some dirt today. On my to-do list is making him his own dirt garden (as opposed to my raised garden beds, which I have filled with plants). His own dirt box he can fill with water, make mud, throw rocks, dig holes, bury treasure, get filthy.

But so far, the dirt box is still on the to-do list.

Today he found his own dirt box, right on the edge of Nana's green beans. Hand shovel, plastic horses (from Nana's childhood, mind you), and dirt towered over by producing green beans.

He had a ball, burying the horses, digging deeper holes, standing up the horses, digging again, running the horses across the dirt.

The boy needs some dirt of his own, Nana! Come on, get to the to-do list.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What Happens Then?

America's genius has been nurtured by nature-by space, both physical and mental. What happens to the nation's intrinsic creativity, and therefore the health of our economy, when future generations are so restricted that they no longer have room to stretch?...

Nature is imperfectly perfect, filled with loose parts and possibilities, with mud and dust, nettles and sky, transcendent hands-on moments and skinned knees. What happens when all the parts of childhood are soldered down, when the young no longer have the time or space to play in their family's garden, cycle home in the dark with the stars and moon illuminating their route, walk down through the woods to the river, lie on their backs on hot July days in the long grass, or watch cockleburs, lit by morning sun, like bumblebees quivering on harp wires? What then?

From Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv (p. 97)

What then?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More About Childhood and Nature

(Some children at heart claim the fort work of regular beach going children.)

Who can't remember spending hours, days even, outside running wild during summer vacation and on weekends, maybe even during after school hours? Who else besides me misses the unstructured, unscheduled, outdoorsy, free time of our childhood? I know I do, and I haven't been a child for many, many years (except in my mind).

Childhood and Nature, Design Principles for Educators by David Sobel hits all of those nails right on the proverbial head. For the health - mental, emotional, physical, spiritual - of each child, nature is the best medicine. Nature plus free time is even better.

See if you can think of a personal example for each of the following themes found in childhood play:

1. Adventure. I remember I was the horse AND rider on numerous robberies and explorations with my best friend. (She was also her own horse and rider.) We sometimes recruited our live horses to adopt a role and play along. I don't think they liked it.

2. Fantasy and Imagination. See number one. Since horses were of number one importance, they played dominant roles in our imaginary worlds. Depended on what color hat we each wore, but the color told the world who was the bad guy and who was the good guy.

3. Animal Allies. Either we were on a horse, pretending to ride a horse, or were a horse. How else could we know what a horse was unless we became a horse?

4. Maps and Paths. Maps? We created our own. It really helped when we found a REAL live Indian arrowhead. Our archeological discovery undergirded many subsequent adventures.

5. Special Places. Sometimes, horses were not involved. One particular fort was perfect. We carefully scraped it out from the center of an entire shrub system of crucifix thorns. Just try and break in, enemies. You will bleed!

6. Small Worlds. Barbies (accompanied by camper, horse, and tent) were custom made for small worlds. Or rocks became walls, twigs furniture, and miscellaneous bits and bobs transformed into miniature homes, complete with rules, regulations, and family members.

7. Hunting and Gathering. Girls need to eat, right? Or at least gather. We had to go out there and round 'em up. Mostly, I caught tadpoles. Didn't eat them. Did find out that they dry up in the hot desert sun and look like boogers stuck to the glass sides.

Now, who can't think of at least one nostalgic memory linked to any of the above principles?

Enjoy the little trip down nature's memory lane.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

London - 2011 International Mission Study

I adore London! The history, the Underground, tea and scones, jam and clotted cream, museums, shopping...the people!

I just received my copy of the new International Mission Study 2011 Teaching Guide for Preschoolers. Now, seriously, who else is going to enjoy learning about London and the culture of families that live there MORE than preschoolers? Well, maybe the teachers and helpers!

Check out this resource, by yours truly, for some great ideas on things to do with preschoolers while they learn about and experience different facets of life in London. ;0

Look for Mission Friends (preschoolers) resources at and

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Now I'm Reading...

Wow, life really happened since I decided to add a new blog! I'm still reading, but the in between times are crammed with excitement and happenings...almost a baby, ready to be un-pregnant daughter, wild talkin' grandson, new daughter-in-law and happily married son, friends and family and festivities...not to mention that school begins in less time than I need to prepare my room! Help!

But right now, I'm reading a great book (well several, but only one I'll mention now). Childhood and Nature, Design Principles for Educators by David Sobel (2008) is the primary book for a class I'm taking and hoped to finish before school starts (not going to happen).

I love this book! It takes me right back to my childhood experiences with free play and long summers and oodles of time spent outdoors exploring, creating, and enjoying nature. Although this is written for people who work with children, it really reminds me as a grandparent how much I need to make sure to have it happen for my grand babies. And I realize that I encouraged embracing the outdoors for my own children, allowing them to delve into the messy of outdoors.

IT is fun times in the great outdoors. Time and space and freedom to interact and learn and make connections with nature in an unstructured way.

So much so, as I reflect on my own childhood and how much we loved dirt (grass, trees, bugs, frogs, sticks, mud, ponds, flowers, horses, dogs, you get the picture) and constantly eroded Dad's sand pile (hauled in for a specific purpose), so much that he never was able to use it for the intended project. I thought about my carefully landscaped yard, where each section has a purpose.

And where is the free exploration place for my babies? I think I need to add another planter box and fill it with dirt. Nothing fancy. Just dirt. Rocks maybe. Add some spoons and containers. He (and soon she) will love it!

Back to the book. I've always loved nature. I feel so relaxed and the stress just drops off when I'm out in the forest and take deep breaths of the evergreen air. Or strolling on the beach and smelling the briny salty water and running my toes through the icy cold water and sand of the Pacific Northwest. That nature connection is very good for my health.

Rating: Great read. Relevant for NOW. Green. Back to the basics and what is really important for our younger generations. No electricity OR internet access required.

Go unplugged. Take this book outside and sprawl on the grass under a huge shady tree. Pretty soon the book will be laying by itself. You'll be daydreaming about days gone past or excursions soon to come.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ah, the Sweet Aroma of Books

I love books! I never feel quite secure unless I have a book or two stashed with me at all times. There are never fewer than ten books stacked on and under my night stand table. Usually, bookmarks hold spots in three or so mid-way complete book readings. Books. I have to have them.

Recently, a teacher I know remarked, "Some people are just wired for text. Look at that poster. Either you see all the words and read it immediately. Or you don't notice the words and just see the photographs."

At that second, I realized that I was text-oriented. Totally text-oriented. I knew that prior to this discussion, but I hadn't thought of it that way before. I have a constant battle in my mind, editing what I am reading or writing, wondering if it's worth it to send the typo information in to publishers...Or what other excellent vocabulary can be used when I am thinking of what to put on paper. Print, fonts, hand-written, professionally type set, scribbled, doodled,... All of it is attached to my field of vision and thinking. Yes, I love photographs and illustrations and embrace beautiful art. But if there is ANY text nearby, I will read that first. Then enjoy the rest.

Any way I look at it, books are me. Books and magazines are an extension of my personality. My loves and excitement. My hobbies, free time, addictions, obligations, pleasures...

Where is my book? I feel like reading something great.