Friday Catch-Up

A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke.
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013.

 So my library stack is huge, but my play opens tonight, which means the week has been very busy.  I must share my favorite book from my current stack, though.  I know there are some sloth fans out there!  This book is absolutely wonderful.  I so need to own it.  I mean, look!

I'm currently reading the Dare Wright biography I got the other day, as well as Mary Poppins.  I'm taking a break at home, though, to finish up the All-of-a-Kind Family books.  I'm almost done with Uptown.  Then there will only be one left!

We're still reading The Marvelous Land of Oz at bedtime.  I'm so excited to re-read these books.  Last night, Tip brought the Sawhorse to life with the Powder of Life.

This week has seen play rehearsals, a Girl Scout pool-side shindig and the awarding of Cookie prizes, some beautiful flowers from Mr. B, a new ice cream parlor, lunch at the bookstore, donuts, chalk drawings, a visit from the Tooth Fairy, and a backyard "concert" by Little Sis.

I thought I'd share a few neat linky odds and ends, too.  Look at this cute Willy Wonka birthday party at Kara's Party Ideas!  (I still love this one at Imagination Tree, too.)  Anyone else out there have a thing for Charley Harper's illustrations?  This awesome "Charley Harper for the Nursery" round-up appeared on Apartment Therapy today.  I know I keep saying I'm going to do a post all about macaroni and cheese, but I always forget to take pictures when I cook.  I get too focused.  That said, I just made this one again today.  It's become my go-to mac and cheese.  Finally, thanks to my bizarre collection of things no one wants anymore (namely the empty container an Edison cylinder once came in), the girls and I got into a discussion about early phonographs.  We found this video of a 1910 cylinder recording being played on a 1905 Edison phonograph.  What's cool is to contrast this one with this 1914 78 RPM disc recording, played on a Victor Talking Machine.  As Little Sis said, "That sounds a lot better."

Yeah, my kids are going to know a lot about archaic technology, I'm afraid...

Merry Weekend!  Happy Reading!

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Happy Mail

Sitting on my doorstep today:  The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by the wonderful Marcia Brown (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1963); The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll: The Search for Dare Wright by Jean Nathan (Henry Holt & Co, 2004); and Kay Thompson: From Funny Face to Eloise by Sam Irvin (Simon & Schuster, 2010).  Because sometimes the library is short what we want, or the wait is too long...  (And I do love the bargain prices at Better World Books.)

Summer Dares

The Daring Book for Girls (2007) and The Double-Daring Book for Girls (2009)
by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz.  Published by William Morrow.

I noticed the other day that someone in my house had brought these books out.  Are you familiar with them?  The Daring Book for Girls and The Double-Daring Book for Girls are full of low-tech crafts, activities, facts, and history for girls.  (If you have boys, you may be familiar with The Dangerous Book for Boys.)

I've had the books for a few years now.  The girls have had to grow into them.  But let me show you why the books are so precious to me.

Yes, those little strips of blue construction paper?  Those are Mr. B's bookmarks.  He went through these books, finding all the activities he wanted to be sure and do with his daughters someday.

He did this a few years ago.  All of a sudden, the girls are older and ready to try some of these things.

I want us to be a little lazy this summer, and lots of regular playtime is great.  But I would love to get to some of this stuff this year!

Here are a few more things I'd like to try:

  • Big Sis has been pestering Mr. B and me to make one of these for years.
  • I am in love with these and I want to hang them everywhere.
  • My girls always manage to spill their bottles of bubbles, so I think this is brilliant.
  • 'Tis the season for grilling!  Looking forward to this and this...
  • I want to do or keep doing everything on my Magical Outdoor Stuff for Kids pinboard.
  • And when summer gets hot and I start to hate it, I have my Summertime pinboard to remind me of what's nice about the hottest season.
I don't know how much we will do this summer, but I hope to have fun trying!

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My Blogoversary Passed & I Was Coughing Too Hard to Remember

I planned to post this Friday.  I had it in my head, and thought I'd get it set to go Thursday night.

But this cough is evil.  It's been going around, and it doesn't seem to ever. go. away.

So I went to bed, thinking I'd do it Friday morning.  Or afternoon.  Maybe late that night.  But I just never did.

And it was going to be a regular Friday "what we've been reading" post.  I totally forgot that Friday was the first anniversary of Silver Shoes & Rabbit Holes!  I was going to do something special!  Not that I knew what that would be, but I thought I'd do something!

Oh, real life.  Why ya gotta interfere with my bloggin' life?  If you want to see my very first post, you can see it here.  My second one is here.

This time last year, I was complaining about the heat.  How we had no winter, and spring had become a nasty hot summer in the blink of an eye.  (Seriously, we had two summers where 110 degrees was the norm!) This year is so different.  We had a late winter, but oh what a winter we had!  And now, on June 3, the weather is still decidedly spring-like.  In fact, we took the Daisy Scouts to the water park for our end-of-the-year celebration on Saturday, and it was windy and chilly!

And we've had rain!  Glorious rain!  Glorious grab-the-umbrella, jump-in-puddles rain!

So the girls and I finished The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  They surprised me by begging me to start The Marvelous Land of Oz right away.

I had already prepared Little Sis for the fact that Dorothy is not in this book, not even a bit.  I told her, this is the book with Jack Pumpkinhead, and the old witch Mombi (not to be confused with Princess Mombi in Return to Oz), and Gump, and the Wogglebug.  I told her a bit about General Jinjur and her army of girls, armed with their knitting needles.  She was still having trouble getting past the idea that the main character this time would be a boy, Tip, though.  So to keep her interested, I kinda told her the whole surprise ending.

But now she is interested!

We open our play this Friday.  My character disappears early in Act IV, which leaves me with some time for reading.  I'm reading Mary Poppins here at home, and reading grown-up books at rehearsal.  Last week, I read these:

I bought the mass market of Garden Spells for my mom, back during my bookstore days, and scored the advanced reader's copy of The Sugar Queen from work, as well.  My mother loved them.  She gave them back to me, gushing, "You love Alice Hoffman, you love southern fiction, you'll love these!"  They did seem like perfect light summer reading, so I read them.  I enjoyed Garden Spells, although it really did feel like I was reading an old Alice Hoffman novel, set in North Carolina instead of the northeast.  I actually preferred The Sugar Queen, which was more original.  I have ordered Sarah Addison Allen's other two books from Better World Books.  While I wait for those, I have started Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers, yet another ARC I never got around to reading.

On the television front, the girls were jumping up and down to see that Littlest Pet Shop is now on Netflix.  They love Littlest Pet Shop and LPS Blythe dolls.  Little Sis even went to an LPS-themed birthday party this weekend.

It's helped to soften the blow.  Netflix let their Viacom deal expire, which meant all the Nickelodeon shows disappeared from Netflix.  Many of the shows are on Amazon Prime Instant, too, so we can still watch those.  But one is not available on Prime, and it's rather expensive to buy separately.  We had to go the DVD route.

Little Sis loves her Bessie.  She draws the characters.  Last week, she even drew a lady and told me it was Amy Poehler.  (Amy Poehler, creator of the show and voice of Bessie, is pictured on the back of the DVD case.)

Our summer activities haven't gone quite as planned.  Little Sis was supposed to start day camp at our dance/theatre school today, but something happened with enrollment.  I turned in our registration card in mid-April, but the card was misplaced and we didn't get into the camp.  It's too full now.  Big Sis starts dance later this week, and she begins a musical theatre class next Monday.  I think we'll go see Epic sometime soon.  I'll probably drag the girls to the park to watch my play on Friday.  We have plans to clean up the backyard, getting the fairy house and mud kitchen ready for summer.  Just playing the rest by ear!

And thank you for reading, folks.  I appreciate the fact you take the time to come here.  My posts may become more sporadic as we move into summer (or as long as the weather stays nice like this!), but I enjoy my little bloggy space and the friends it's made for me.


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