Monday, February 21, 2011


For a phonics strategies class I'm in, one of the projects we do is to read a young adult or older children's book and do a "book talk" on it. The "book talk" part is simply giving a brief "preview" of the book...without giving too much away. The goal is to learn to make books sound exciting (which they are) and to read books that the kid's we will be teaching could read.

I chose Hoot, and I have to say I liked. It's sort of a series of hilarious mysteries that are all connected and stacked on top of one another.By the time you feel that one mystery is "solved" your knee deep into the next. It begins with Roy, the main character being beat up by the school bully on the bus. His face is smushed against the glass of the window. It's at this point that Roy notices a boy running. Not just any boy though. He had no shoes, no books, and was running in the opposite direction of the school bus stop. Roy immediately sets out to find out who the running boy is and from there, the mysteries only begin. By the end you'll find out what an owl, nine snakes, an alligator, a bulldozer, a police car, and pancakes all have in common and you'll laugh a lot along the way.

I liked it. It made me laugh. In a few places it was actually a little too....political(?) for me, which surprised me for a book written for 12 years olds, but as whole it was great.

Whatever I think of the book though, I love this idea of book talks, and plan on using it in my classroom someday. We not only have to talk about the book, but we have to create a website, or use props, or do something visual.

The second book I've been reading isn't school related at all (clearly)-- The Knitter's Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. It's everything you could want to know about yarn, choosing it, using for the right projects, where it comes from, how it's made, and more. It comes with some 40 patterns that are all beautiful. Some are above my skill level, but I'll get there...someday.

Perhaps its interesting to me because I love wool, yarn, and all fiber related topics, but I would venture to say that even to someone who may not have a natural affinity for yarn could find her style and content interesting.

My favorite part is when she talks about fiber festivals (yes, that's a real thing...all the knitting nerds really do all together at one time, I'll post on that sometime soon). She refers to them as "Woodstock, for knitters". I love this!

"Read it. I know you'll love it!" (Name that movie) But really, do read it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

knittING news

First of all, I will start this post by saying...I should absolutely be reading Heart of Darkness for my lit class right now. However, as Fridays tend to go, I got online and started looking at knitting, fiber, and wool related things and now I feel compelled to blog about them. What can I say? I'm obsessed.

First and foremost I am extra pleased to announce that.......the Tumnus scarf is finished!!!! Well, sort of. I'm finished knitting it. I haven't decided if I'm going to block it. Blocking, for any non-knitting reader I may have, is the process of wetting and drying the knitted piece to help achieve the desired shape. There are a lot of ways to do this, and I've never done it before, but I may try it for this project. The edges of this scarf curl, so it's almost like a long, red, snake-like rope. Surprisingly though, it wears great like this. We'll see what I decide. Pictures to come. (I would post pictures of it today, but sadly I've been so focused on reading about wool and such, that I haven't even showered or anything....pathetic...I know).

Second, I am happy to tell you all that I finally found a pattern that I really love for the legwarmer project. It took me forever because I wanted to find one that was free, that I still liked, and that seemed easy enough for a new knitter like myself. Here it is. I found it on a site called the purl bee. It's great you should check it out if you like knit, crochet, or sew anything at all.

Here is what the finished product will hopefully, but not likely, look like.

I will probably wear them a little "slouchier" then what is pictured, but I just can't wait to knit and to wear these. Once I can spare the money for the yarn they recommend, I'm getting it, and I am going to start knitting. I figure I'll probably have these done in time to be extra useful. Like, know, when legwarmers are just the thing you are looking for. Either way, I'm wearing them, even if it is 90 degrees out. I'll just turn up the air a little more.

Finally, here is our "celebrity knitter" for the month:

Yup! Audrey! If that doesn't put the class into knitting, I don't know what does.
I know this picture looks like its from a movie set, which it is, but she really was a real-life knitter and she is real-life knitting here.

This discovery made me so happy and made me feel less like I'm 90 years old for being a knitter.

So get those needles clacking! Everybody's doing it! Even Audrey!

Image credit: Google Images

Monday, February 14, 2011

lovING today

candy hearts

wearing pink (it's like the only day of the year that I do)

hugs and kisses (both the chocolate ones and the real ones)

love sonnets

flowers and cards

being together

valentine crafts

love songs



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

slayING the jabberwocky

I love Tim Burton movies. I just love them. I love the sets. I love their costuming (someday, I'm going to be a Tim Burton character for Halloween, but I better get started on that now,if I want to have it all figured out by then). I love their edgy, whimsical darkness. I love thier sarcasm and satire. They alway's seem like these artful retellings of stories we've heard, or at least feel like we've heard before.

I finally got sit down and watch Alice in Wonderland, and as usual, I was not disappointed. It. was. fabulous. It was whimsical and dark and fanciful. It made me wish there were a real place called Wonderland. I have to confess I've actually watched it more then once. It made me want to read the book, and I think, someday, I will. Someday, when I'm not in school and being forced to read things like The Picture of Dorian Gray....ugh....although perhaps it would make a good Tim Burton movie someday. ;)

Although I loved everything I've already mentioned that I love about Tim Burton movies, there was something else about it that stuck with me. Every now and again in a movie or a book there will some one or two-liner that repeats itslef in my mind and somehow makes its way into my life. When I watched The Dark Knight it was "You make your own luck." In Lord of the Rings it was something about making the most of your time....I know, I know, for something that stuck with me, I should remember it better.

What stuck with me about this movie, was the Six impossible things. When Alice was told she should stop wasting her time thinking about such impossible things, like flying, she responded with,
"Sometimes, my father believed in as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Later in the movie she used this idea to bolster herself to gain the courage to slay the Jabberwocky (If you don't know what a Jabberwocky is, you should, its great fun. Look it up and see picture above.). She listed them all as she fought, things like "Animals can talk" and "There is a cake that make you grow when you eat it." Her final and 6th impossible thing was " I can slay the Jabberwocky."

So, she did.

While I don't have literal Jabberwockies to slay, and I'm not really all that certain about the idea of cakes that make you grow when you eat them, and I would actually be freaked out if my cat talked to me, there are goals, ideas, or accomplishments in my life that seem just as impossible. So, I've decided to make believing in six (or sometimes even one) impossible thing a part of my life.

Sometimes they can be "little", like " I can pass economics", "I can get over it if I don't pass economics." or " I can write this paper" or, on a bad day, even "I can get through today". Sometimes they can be "big" like " I can make it through this season of life" or "There is joy to be found here." There are no hard fast rules to what my impossible things could be, just whatever seems impossible for that day, week, month, year etc. Sometimes it can be things that just feel impossible at that time but aren't, like "God loves me" or "Fear not" or even "I can try something new."

Six Impossible Thing's is really more of an attitude then it is a list. It is the willingness to take risks and move forward. It's the ability to stand on the edge of some terrible, wonderful, wild thing and jump. It's the dreaming up of new ideas and saying "This could work" and then doing it. It's being creative and not apologizing for it.

It is being fearless. It is trusting. It is being free.

So, whatever your Jabberwockies, I hope you to find the courage to slay them. I would say "Good luck"...but remember, you make your own. ;)

Monday, February 7, 2011

the science of bakING

i bought a bread machine last month,

i measured and poured each simple ingredient
and flipped a switch to "on" and went about my day.

it whirred and it hummed, and it tapped
metallic, like some alien craft on the kitchen counter

the bread came out in soft, square, blocks
warm on the tongue
and was eaten up with butter and jam and so much soup
all just the same.

but my hands

missed the feel of oil and flour and cracked wheat
sticking to my skin and under my fingernails

and the strength my arms felt
as they kneaded and kneaded to the rhythm of my own passionate breath

pausing only to brush my hair back from my brow with my wrist
leaving primitive streaks of flour across my human cheek

like a journey, a pilgrimage
to Mecca, or the holy land
or Damascus

measuring the oil as careful as Elijah's widow

choosing a place, a warm, dry womb
to watch the dough, the yeast, the flour, rise like some miraculous, living, testimony
to the way things are and have been for centuries.

Image credit:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


So, it's a new month and guess what? Da da dummm! I LOVE Valentine's Day! I know, I know, it's so hard to imagine me loving a holiday and getting really into it, right?

Well, Valentine's Day is no different for me. I know, it's a holiday that is often black listed by single women and married men everywhere, but really, I've ALWAYS liked it, yes even in my single days.

Whether it's a Hallmark holiday or not is of little consequence to me. I love it's cheesiness. I love big red and pink hearts, and those little heart candies with messages like "Ur hott", I love the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates...yep the whole deal.

I think I love that it's this bright spot in the middle of our dreary Ohio winter where we can get our goofy on and make heart-shaped cards for those we love. For anyone we love. Friends or family or anyone. That is why I loved it even in my single's fun day to just say "I care about you".

So break out the chick flicks, and the good old fashioned love songs! Get out the markers, the doilies, the glue and the glitter! Get out the chocolate, and heart shaped cake molds! Break out all the love and cheesiness you can muster and get goING! Share the love!

Happy Valentine's Month Everyone!


Image Credit: