Saturday, August 02, 2014

Suddenly, it's August!















How do looooong
 s  l  o  w
...lazy...
summer days
multiply so quickly?


SUDDENLY
it's August
and I'm faced with
a pile of back-to-school paperwork,
a long list of summer TO-DOs
that didn't get done,
and the dread of moving my daughter
back to school
for her second year
of COLLEGE.

Is there some way that I can
s..t..r..e..t..c..h
the next week
so that it feels more like
a month?

No?

Then I suppose I'll have to do
what I always do
and make the most of this last week
of summer break.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Visting the Shire...sort of

I found The Shire, and it's in Iowa!


Okay, so it's not really The Shire. It's actually the Loess Hills State Forest in western Iowa. But when I looked out over this landscape a few days ago, it wasn't too hard to imagine that I had stepped into the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings


Beautiful, no? One of the midwest's hidden gems.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Moosey Monday: Moose Tracks!

Today's Moosey Monday post features two things that happen to have the same name: Moose Tracks!

Moose Tracks, the book by Karma Wilson

I bought this book for my kids a few years ago at a book fair (or maybe it was a book order?) It's a silly, rhyming mystery that asks the question, "Who left the moose tracks all over the house?" It's fun to read aloud, and kids will enjoy the rhyme, the bright illustrations, and the surprise ending.







Moose Tracks, the ice cream flavor.

If you are a fan of ice cream, and chocolate fudge swirls, and little bits of peanut butter and chocolate, then you will love this ice cream. It is the flavor most commonly purchased our house, because it is the only one that everyone consistently agrees upon! Yum yum!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Impossibility of Picking Favorites

I'm not good at picking favorites.

One of my best friends' favorite color is green. It has always been green. No doubt it will always be green. But my favorite color? Um...yellow. No, hot pink! No, look at that lovely shade of turquoise!

Favorite movie? Stranger than Fiction. No, Independence Day. Or maybe I Am Legend! The Fellowship of the Ring?

I can't tell you what my favorite food is, what my favorite dessert is, or what my favorite animal is at the zoo. My favorites are always shifting.

But I do love books. Books are possibly my favorite thing ever. Even better than new boots. Even better than kittens. Maybe even better than chocolate!

Do I have a favorite book? I can't say...

There was a time when I might have said my favorite book was Watership Down. Another time when I might have said it was Clan of the Cave Bear. There was a time when my teenage self would have said my favorite book was The Hobbit. But the more I read, the more books I love, and the harder it is for me to nail down a title that has earned the rank of My Favorite Book.

Each of those books is beloved. Each of those books deserves a place on my favorites shelf. But that shelf is also filled with titles like The Wind Singer by William Nicholson, Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, Heartbeat by Sharon Creech, The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, The Lunar Chronicles (series) by Marissa Meyer, Everfound by Neal Shusterman, Across the Universe by Beth Revis, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, and so many more. How can I pick just one from a list like that?

I guess that's why I have such a hard time getting rid of books. They are all my favorite. They all deserve a special place in my heart and on my shelves.

What about you? Can you narrow down your favorites to one book? Or one author? Or even one genre?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Last Night's Storm

Part one:

Driving to the store
admiring the sky,
half blue,
half gray,
with sheets of rain
streaking down
in the distance.

Will it rain at home
or miss us again?

Part two:

The drizzles begin
as I jump out of the car,
three ducklings following,
and dash through the door,
dotted with raindrops.

Part three:

Ruuuummble, bang!
The first roll of thunder,
as loud as if I were outside
and not deep into the aisles
of Walmart.

We just need one item.
Hurry, hurry-- 

BOOM!!

I jump
and laugh
at the rumble of thunder,
so loud that I wonder
if Thor himself 
is hammering on the roof.

I love T-storms,
but more so when
I am at home
watching
and listening 
in safety.

Hurry, hurry!
Let's get home.
I don't want to be stuck
at Walmart
if the sirens go off!

Part four:

Dash through the door
and outside to the waiting car
as rain washes down
in cooling sheets.

The road is paved 
with rushing water,
the sky is black
an hour before sunset,
and tiny balls of ice
plink against the windshield.

Lightning flashes
as bright as a camera
an inch from your face
and thunder rages,
drowning out the sounds
of the ducklings
laughing
and the radio
announcing flood warnings
and even the
rushing gushing splashing
of the car
as it travels down a road
turned river.

It's a slow,
anxious
drive home.

Part five:

Pull into the driveway
as the rain eases slightly.
Two ducklings dare
to take a five-second shower,
and then we are inside,
where I can stand and watch
from the dining room window,
and then later
lie in peace
as the rain
and the thunder
lull me
to 
sleep.