Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Best Picture Books?

School Library Journal (SLJ) is gathering votes for the top 100 Picture Books of all time. I was going to ignore the request for submissions of peoples' top 10 books because it was so difficult to even think about narrowing it down, but here, at the 11th hour (deadline is tonight), I've decided to send in my faves. Just thought I'd share it with you all, too.

I chose books that are great one-on-one, but also for groups. I also chose things appeal to a wide age range. I would much rather have been able to submit a list of 100!

1. Goodnight Gorilla Rathman
2. Bark George Feiffer
3. Very Hungry Caterpillar Carle
4. Go Away, Big Green Monster Emberley
5. Charlie Parker Played Be-bop Raschka
6. Where the Wild Things Are Sendak
7. Make Way for Ducklings McCloskey
8. If I Ran the Zoo Seuss
9. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Willems
10.I Ain't Gonna Paint No More Beaumont/Catrow

Friday, March 27, 2009

Poetry Friday!

And to think I nearly missed another week of Poetry Friday!

Ok - I'm in the mood for some extemporaneous composition . . .

Our Day

A lovely day, the sun did shine
I spent it with my hubby, mine.
We saw the doc we had no shock
We had raw fish, bought yarn for socks.
And after traveling to and fro
I cut some fabric, had to sew.

I patched boy's pants, he gathered stuff
and off he went, to camping, rough.
Now Hubs and I are in the house
me in the chair, he on the couse.
We could go dancing, stay out late
but that is not our current fate.

Great Friday!

I had my check-up with the surgeon today. Mike took the day off to take me (and to play!)

Medical Update:
The surgeon says that my leg is healing really well. He got really excited to see that my right knee is stiffening up enough to seem like the exterior ligaments are healing, which is EXCELLENT news! I might even get away with only needing a brace and not needing the whole knee replacement thing! The interior ligaments will never heal on their own . . . but maybe that will be ok?

I'll go back again in 3 weeks, and we'll see how the brace goes. They'll be fitting me with that then, I guess. We will also, at that point, re-evaluate . . .and that re-evaluation will happen over and over again.

I still can't bear weight, but I am allowed to touch my foot to the floor a little for balance, etc. Also, my home-care PT is done, and I'm going to have to set up PT at a facility. I'm going to attack that problem tomorrow or Monday. There are lots of facilities around Columbus, but almost all of them seem to be far away.

Still don't know when I'll get back to work, but I am hoping we'll be able to set a date or at least make a plan in 3 weeks. At this point, my return date is "on the books" as June 1, but I am feeling now like we might be able to bump that up and get me back sooner. Time will tell!

Another great thing - he gave me a prescription for a Handicapped placard for the car. yay!

The Playing Part of Today:
  • After the Dr. we went right to the DMV and got me my placard. There is a nice DMV office at Kenny Center, and the line went really quickly.
  • We checked out Akai Hana, and without getting too close we saw that it was closed. We were a little bummed, but we ducked into the bakery 2 doors down and got some lovely Asian yummers. After snarfing down a delicious red bean paste-filled donut (totally decadent!), we rolled by Akai Hana again, and it was now open! Duh! We were just 10 minutes early! Ha!
  • So - after having donuts - we had a delicious sushi lunch! Great place to eat, and I'm so glad we tried it out. We'll definitely go back!
  • After lunch, Mike went to the fabulous spice shop, Penzeys, and I went to The Yarn Shop. It was my first visit to the shop, and it was a nice place. It's larger and more maneuverable than The Merc, and they seem to have a larger selection of less expensive yarns there, which is nice. I still have a very strong loyalty to The Merc, though, and it's closer to me, too. I did pick up a few skeins, though. :-)
Knitting Update:
This is a little sweater for a kid. I love the little eyelet motif on the back. You can see here that I'm doing both sleeves at one time - saves on note-taking, and ensures that they will be the same length!

Simon Update:
Here he is, packed and ready for the weekend with the Scouts. He had to come back after he and his dad had left the house, because he'd neglected to put on his new hiking boots and was still wearing his tennis shoes. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Misery Loves Company

Some of you have commented on my positive attitude during my recovery. My friend, Megan, sent me this great (and funny!) video on attitude, and I figure some of you will enjoy it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Passing Time

Medical update: I'm healing well. It's slow. The incision looks good, as you can see here. Still bored. It's funny - when you're forced to sit around and not do active things, all those things you usually enjoy because it means you don't have to move (tv, knitting, reading) get boring very quickly.

I've been working puzzles. Here is my favorite old puzzle from my childhood - the map of Ohio. Cool, huh?

Here is the Pennsylvania puzzle. Also very cool . . . but it's not Ohio.

And . . . Simon, a HUGE fan of Firefly, and especially Wash, was gifted this fabulous hand-made Wash Sweater from our friend, Don, who charted the pattern by hand from the show. Don doesn't like the striations in color and the fit of the sleeves, so it is now Simon's.

But get this - Don is actually THE person who charted the cable pattern that EVERYone in the world will use for the Wash sweater. He's a genius!

It fits him well right now - if he develops bigger biceps it will need to be altered, but it has plenty of length to last him a few years, I'm sure. Thanks, Don! Simon is THRILLED, AND EVEN WORE IT TO BED!

This is so very generous of Don! Thank you so much!!

Don, Gerry and David came over tonight - it was so nice to sit, chat and knit. Yay!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Getting Out!

I had 2 outings today! My friend Carol M. came and took me to the Knit Wits group at The Merc this morning, and then out to lunch. Fun! It was so nice to see the gals again, laugh, gossip, and buy more yarn!

My friend Cindy got me to go to book group tonight. The book was How Starbucks Saved My Life. I haven't read it, but it does sound good, and I'm going to read it as soon as my reserve comes in at The L.

I watched the movie Big with Si today. I was struck by the great message of customer service I saw in this old movie. What would we be like if we spent most of our creative energy concentrating on reacting to our "product" as our target audience would react. Josh Basking (Tom Hanks) was successful at the toy company because he approached the toys as a 13-y-o boy . . . their target audience. Something to think about!

Ok - also think about how bored I must be to be making great philosophical observations about movies like this! Yikes!

I'm exhausted - it's been a good day, but I'm glad I'm not expected to do anything tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Phinally Photos!

First, the lovely daffodils that I got a few weeks ago . . . just starting to bloom . . . and then blooming!

I've been wanting to show how Samwise insists on being on my lap, even when my lap is already mostly filled with my laptop. He finds room, no matter what. I use random stuffed animals to prop up the laptop, but also to keep Sam off my bum leg.

Knitting! Here's what I have close at hand: another little blanket bunny buddy - they're fun, and cute. How old of a child do you think would tolerate/like one of these?

This is a little baby sweater - Baby Bolero, from the book One Skein - that I cast on just yesterday! I'm near completion on it, but I think I'll probably cast off tomorrow.

Random Wanderings

Health update:
  • I'm allowed to bend my knee, and I've been a'bending! Every time I get up to move around the house, I do some of those bending exercises.
  • Still no weight on that leg, though, so I'm still wheeling and walkering.
  • I have to do leg lifts and stuff like that, too, to get my thigh and hip muscles ready to walk again. Lefty, however, is VERY strong!
Brain Update:
  • I'm bored.
  • I've got all kinds of things to do, really, like knitting, reading (great books!), watching movies and DVR'd tv, playing online, working a puzzle (this week it's Pennsylvania), coaching Si in cooking dinner, badgering Mike and Si (sorry, guys!), etc.
  • I'm still bored.
  • Still feeling pretty good, though, other than . . . well . . . did I mention that I'm bored?
Stuff I did this week:
  • I watched about 10 chick flicks. Yay! sob! Yay!
  • I conquered my inability to record a DVD - it's complicated, I tell ya! Only took 3 tries to finally get it right!
  • Called our cell phone provider after getting (gasp!) an enormous bill because our usage was 3X what our plan covers (ACK!) Let me tell you - the woman who helped me was AWESOME! I now have a cheaper but better plan, we now have unlimited TXTING (expect messages from me!) and AND she took $200 off my current bill out of pity or something (WAHOO!) Boy, that totally saves us! Seriously - it was horrible, and she was great!
  • Today I have been alone all day, and I was able to get myself my lunch - using crutches in our tiny galley kitchen. Yay me!
  • Read several books - check out my librarything updates!
  • Cast on a new knitting project - wahoo!
Why I love my husband (a short list, not at all close to inclusive):
  • He is doing so much to keep the house running.
  • He insisted that I get out of the house yesterday, and he took me to The Merc! I was only there for about an hour, but I was able to pick out yarn (thanks, Merida!) and see lots of my Sunday afternoon knitpeeps!
  • He comes into the guest bedroom each night for some nice tuck-me-in talking before going upstairs to bed. It's hard to sleep alone all the time after finally getting used to him. I can't wait til I can go up and down stairs w/o killing myself!
Why I love my son (a short list, not at all close to inclusive):
  • He is helping so much, from helping with laundry, doing trash, cleaning litterbox, helping me move around the house, etc.
  • He is fun, and has a great sense of humor - makes me laugh!
  • Also comes in to tuck me in at night, giving me hug and talking to me about the day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sing-along books

So, after posting yesterday about sing-along books, I just can't stop thinking about them. I've been a fan of singing through storytime for over 20 years, now, and if you ask my family, well, they'll tell you that I've been singing my way through life (slightly longer than 20 years - haha).

So, I'm going to start a list of other favorite sing-along books, and I'd be pleased as peachy punch if you'd add your faves into the comments!

  • Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop - Raschka
  • Mama Don't Allow - Hurd
  • Seals on the Bus - Hort
  • Skip to my Lou - Westcott
  • Lady With the Alligator Purse - Westcott
  • 5 Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed - Christelow
  • The Motown baby love board books: Sugar Pie Honey Bunch, How Sweet it is to be Loved By You, My Girl, The Way You Do the Things You Do, etc
  • Barnyard Dance by Boynton (I really just chant this one, but it's great!)
  • There's a Hole in the Bucket - Westcott
  • Miss Mary Mack - Westcott (she's really the illustrator of all these books, but honestly, her versions are the best!) - this also makes a fun flannel, which I made years ago for the Main Library's collection, so CML folks can borrow it.
I know that there must be dozens of other books I've sung . . . but this list is off the top of my head. Do you have others to add?

PS - isn't it nice to think about something other than my recover? yes! it is!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reading material

Well, I'm finally interested in reading again. I've read through some back issues of The New Yorker, donated to me by my good friend Elizabeth. I have to admit I didn't read too many of the articles, but I did enjoy the comics and the covers and the editorials.

Then I started reading novels at bedtime. I grabbed the first thing I put my hands on; an old Lawrence Block novel, Burglars Can't be Choosers, about Bernie Rhodenbarr. I love these books! Bernie is a burglar, and also runs a used book shop in Greenwich Village. I first met Bernie listening to the books on tape, read by the author, and I fell in love with him (Bernie, not Lawrence, although LB also struck my imagination 'cuz he sounds so much like my dear Uncle Dick). A few years ago I was able to hear Block speak at a conference, and I got several of his Bernie books autographed. My copy of Burglars Can't be Choosers is one of those signed books. LOVE IT!

So, reading that one, and the others I made Mike find around the house, got me to reserve all the rest from The L. Yay! I've now read 4 of them, and I'm on my 5th! I'm actually reading them mostly in order, so that's new for me. LOL

But the book I really want to talk about today is When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat by Weinstein. One of my twitter buddies recommended it a while back, and I immediately ordered it. Those of you who know me know that I love jazz music, and if you've seen me do storytimes much, you might also know that I have a long-abiding love for the book Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Raschka. I love singing that jazzy book for kids because, even if they're jaded, street-wise Middle School Kids, if you sing it well you can win the kids over. I haven't tested the Louis book with kids, yet, but I feel confident saying that it could be another great sing-aloud book. The thing about the Louis book, though, is that it's going to take considerably more practice, IMHO, than the Charlie Parker book takes. There is a lot of scat in the book, and it's got great potential for being delightful, but if you plan to sing it - practice first!

I would sing this book along with the song Scat Like That from the old album On the Move by Greg and Steve. These 2 great books, the great song, and fill it in with a flannel or two, and you've got a whiz-bang storytime, I tell ya! I'd also play some of the music by both greats. Fabbo!

Thanks, Beth, for sharing the new title on twitter!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

3BT . . . or more

  1. Watching a bundle of daffodils slowly blossom all week (thanks, BFF!)
  2. Sleeping very well, finally, nearly 8 hours, thanks to the 1.5 inches of memory foam now placed over my (very old guest bed) mattress. (thanks for alerting me to the sale, Mom!)
  3. My first cup of "bought out" coffee in over a month - yummmm (thanks DH!)
  4. The concussive sound of the hammer as a curb/lip thing gets added to the edges of my ramp, which will provide me more security when I go out. (thanks, Nicker!)
  5. Having the doors open and feeling the fresh air. My cats and I all had our noses to the screen earlier, enjoying the scents of outdoors. (Thanks, Mother Nature!)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Dr. Visits

My sister came and took me to my surgeon's appointment this morning. All looks well! I can start doing some range-of-motion PT, which is cool. The incision is very, very good, and the X-ray shows that all is healing well.

I have had a little pain in my calves, but the ultrasound he ordered showed no clots or anything, so all is well. Yay me!

After both of those appointments, my sister and I had lunch at Applebee's. Fun! Actually going out and everything!

I'll go back to the surgeon again in 3 weeks. In the meantime, my PT is coming to the house 2x a week, and I get a little more mobile each day. I'm still tiring out easily, but it's all ok.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

3 beautiful things

1. Warm water and finally being able to enjoy a shower (even with a bench).
2. My sweetie bringing be cold Fruit2O before I even think to ask for it.
3. Heating pad over my always-cold feet, allowing me to really relax in my chair.

Still having trouble sleeping through the night, I went online tonight and ordered a new mattress topper (and new sheets!). Thanks for the tip on the sale, Mom! I sure hope the delivery comes fast! My PT is going well, though, and each day I go a few more steps with the walker. My next appointment with the "sturgeon" is Friday morning, and my sister is going to take me and spend the day with me (yay!).

DH has been ill, and went back to the Dr today to get a diff drug. He's already starting to feel improvement. He should be able to work again tomorrow. My first day alone in a week! I'll be ok, though, I'm sure.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Interview with Simon

This has been making the rounds in the blogosphere and on Facebook. It looked like fun, so here are my Simon's answers. I'm going to let him type them himself when he gets home from school. He's 14 (and not a great speller).

1. What is something mom always says to you?
How was your day? Three things- (if I don't require 3 things, he'll stop with "eh")

2. What makes mom happy?
not being in pain

3. What makes mom sad?
me being sick

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
being wierd (proffesional courtacy)

5. What was your mom like as a child?
? (I think he might wonder when I'm going to stop being a child)

6. How old is your mom?
43? (well, he's only a year off - someday he'll realize we're exactly 30 yrs apart)

7. How tall is mom?
5'4" (actually, I'm just 5'2", but I have a big presence)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
probably the same stuff she does when I am except she watches what she wants to watch (yup - he's got me pegged)

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

11. What is your mom really good at?

12. What is your mom not very good at?
most sports

13. What does your mom do for her job?

14. What is your mom's favorite food?

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
She's wierd

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
if I say Marge Simpson, she'll hit me

17. What do you and your mom do together
stuff (see what I mean about the 3 things?)

18. How are you and your mom the same?

19. How are you and your mom different?
past times (meaning we have different hobbies - I am not much into military history, and he will probably never knit)

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
she says it herself (we all say it all the time - to one another - it's one of the most important things we do in our family, both my side and Mike's side)

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
her parents' (ahh, he knows me well)