Happy Birthday To Me (and Weekend Reading)

I'm a Leo, so of course I'm going to shout about this Very Special Day.


Actually, I'm in my 30s and a mom, so in real life, we're not doing much.  And I hate summer, especially this 110-degree weather that has successfully killed my tomato plants.

A party.  A literary-themed party would be nice.  A swanky Great Gatsby party, perhaps?  I love the Roaring Twenties!  Unfortunately, the dress style doesn't love me.  (Boyish figure?  Um, no.)  And I prefer air-conditioned comfort to sweating outside.  A sweetly refined Jane Austen party?  (Isn't it beautiful???)  Love Miss Austen, but I would prefer something splashy.  Oooo, how about a Night Circus party?  A midnight dinner?

Or how about a surprise?  A happy, fun surprise, where everything looks amazing and I don't have to clean up afterward?

Um, yeah.  Really, a clean house and some flowers would thrill me.  (EDIT:  There were flowers on the kitchen table this morning!  My hubby loves me.)

Well, here is a little birthday wishlist anyway.  My "what I'd get myself if money was no object" list.

Oh, and before I forget, I really, really, really want one of these, too...  (EDIT:  Oh my goodness, guess what was sitting in my living room when I got up this morning?  The hubby is building one!  It's still under construction, but it looks great!)

Now on to other things...

It's Friday, so we have our weekend reading gathered.  I'm still reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.  On the girls' night stand are On the Banks of Plum Creek and Ivy + Bean #6.  We have been very busy this week - the girls are in a play - so our reading time has been scarce.  We hope to make it to the library today, as I have a few things on hold that must be picked up.

Sorry, not a whole lot to post on the book front right now.  What are you reading this weekend?

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Ruby Gloom

We got rid of cable last year, bought a Roku box, and subscribed to Netflix instead.  (And Hulu Plus.  And Amazon Prime.  But it's still cheaper than cable!)

It was supposed to be an effort to cut down on TV watching.  Instead, the girls found new shows to watch.

And at the top of the list is Ruby Gloom.

This is the first book in the Ruby Gloom book series.  I scored a used copy from Better World Books, but we haven't read it yet.

A Canadian animated series based on a US apparel and accessories line!  How Hot Topic!

But, oh my goodness, they love it.  Little Sis has a macabre streak, and Big Sis is reaching the age where she wants to be "cool" and less "babyish."  (Sigh.)  Ruby Gloom is a perfect meet-in-the-middle show.  With a fantastic theme song.  

If you're not familiar with Ruby Gloom, it's about a bright, happy, positive-thinking girl who lives in a dark, goth world. It's sweet and cheery, and dark and ghoulie at the same time.  My favorite character is Misery, the walking disaster area.  My hubby is fond of Scaredy Bat.  Big Sis likes Iris, Ruby's adventuresome friend.  Little Sis, when asked who her favorite character is, replied, "All of them.  I don't have a favorite."  I could hear the eye-roll in her voice.  Sigh.

This is their favorite episode:  

If you don't watch the whole thing, at least check out the theme song.  It's very, very catchy.


Legos:  The Great Sibling Unifier.

Fancy Nancy and Raggedy Ann are watching. 

Or maybe they're just babysitting.  Shhhh....

King Cookie Monster!

"It's a restaurant.  At the zoo!  That's the delivery truck."

A Wrinkle In Time

I found my favorite book 25 years ago.

Twenty-five years ago this November, in fact.

I may be in my mid-30s, but my favorite book is supposedly for children.  A Newbery Award winner.  It features characters with names like Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which.  Characters like the alien Aunt Beast, and the Happy Medium (an actual medium), and an evil disembodied brain called It.

I have read most of Madeleine L'Engle's children's books, and I have a nice collection of her work.  I once checked a beautiful audio edition of A Wrinkle in Time out from the library, so that my husband and I could listen to it on the way to visit his folks in Joplin, MO.  

Madeleine L'Engle narrated that edition herself.  My husband loved it, too.

Her books have a place of honor in my bookcase.

I have the 2007 paperback editions of the Time quintet.

I have a battered, post-Newbery copy from the 1960s, with the original art by Ellen Raskin.

And I bought myself the 50th Anniversary hardcover edition this year.

None of these are the first copy I held in my hands, nearly 25 years ago.  

That copy was in the school library, the school I attended for one year only:  fifth grade.  There was a wonderful librarian named Mrs. Loper, and she took a special interest in me.  "Try this one," she said.  I did.

I just enrolled Big Sis in first grade.  Her school is now a performing arts magnet school, but once upon a time, it was simply a regular school, the one her mom attended in fifth grade.

Enrollment took place in the library.  A familiar spine on the shelf caught my eye.

"Look, kids.  This could be the very copy your mom checked out in fifth grade!"

(Sorry for the quality.   I don't have a smart phone, only a dumb phone with a bad camera.)  

Inside the front cover, an old-fashioned envelope and library card remained.  I took it out and turned it over.

My name.  My signature at ten years old.  November 25th, my mother's birthday.  

And February 9th, and February 16th, and April 9th...

Told you it was my favorite book.

Obsessive Nostalgia Disorder Monday: Fairy Tales, Muppet-Style

Where I pay homage to those weird things from the past that haunted me as an adult.

I love Jim Henson.  I'm a total geek.  I love the Muppet movies, The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, etc. etc.

When I was a kid, two of my favorite Muppet-related shows were the made-for-TV fairy tales, Hey, Cinderella! and The Frog Prince.  I remember checking the VHS tapes out at the video store over and over again.  They would pop up on TV over the years.  Then I grew up, and couldn't find them anymore.

I'm so glad YouTube exists.

And via YouTube, I found The Muppet Musicians of Bremen!  I never knew about that one...

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