scaifea's 2015 challenge - thread #27

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Converses75 Books Challenge for 2015

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scaifea's 2015 challenge - thread #27

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1scaifea
Editat: des. 15, 2015, 7:28am

Welcome to thread XXVII!



Below you’ll find an explanation of my reading habits, which, I warn you, is a bit crazy. Usually I have about 10-12 books going at once, one each from the following groups (and occasionally other books slipped in there, too):

1. A book from the 100 Banned Books book (at least currently. As soon as I finish this list, I'll replace it with another, and oh, I've got tons of lists).

2. A children's book, for Charlie's library. I'm trying to collect books from various award lists, and I like reading them before reading them to Charlie or deciding to add them to Charlie's shelves. For this category, I’m currently working through three lists:
a. 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Die
b. The CYOA books
c. The Newbery Honor books

3. A book from the Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List, in chronological order.

4. A book for the Presidential Challenge. Books for this category are read in chronological (presidentially) order.

5. An audio book, which I listen to as I knit/sew/otherwise craft/drive.

6. A list I'm working through together with my best friend, Rob: The Hugo/Nebula/WFA/Bram Stoker lists (combined, in chronological order)

7. For this category, I cycle through 7 different stacks:
a. A book from my shelves which I haven't yet read
b. Agatha Christie's bibliography (in chronological order)
c. Neil Gaiman's bibliography (in some order other than chronological (don't
ask)).
d. Christopher Moore's bibliography (in chronological order)
e. Stephen Fry's bibliography (in chronological order)
f. The NEH Timeless Classics list
g. The National Book Award list (in alpha order by title)
h. The Pulitzer list (in alpha order by author)

8. A read-aloud-to-Charlie-at-bedtime book.

9. A book from my Classics shelves.

10. A book on Buddhism or from the Dalai Lama's bibliography.

11. Book-a-year challenge: Two years ago, along with a few others in this group (*cough* Paul *cough*), I made a year-by-year list to see how far I could go back with consecutive reads. I've decided, again, to follow Paul's lead and try to fill in some of those blanks, and so I'm adding an entry here to my lists.

12. This slot is reserved for books that just grab me and shout that they need to be read Right Now.

And on top of these, there will be a multitude of picture books and easy readers, which Charlie and I read together. I've decided this year also to list our re-reads, but I'll just list them each day and not number them.

So, now you've got a glimpse of just how neurotic I am.
Please feel free to post comments, recommendations, or whatever else strikes your fancy. And Happy Reading, everyone!



What I'm reading now:
-Black Boy (Banned Books list)
-Dream Coach (Newberry Honor book)
-Water of the Wondrous Isles (The Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List)
-Zachary Taylor (Presidential Challenge)
-Listen, Slowly (audiobook)
-A Time of Changes (Nebula list)
-Dandelion Wine (NEH Children's Classics list)
-Danny the Champion of the World (Charlie's bed-time book)
-Don Quixote (an unread book off of my shelves)
-The Dalai Lama at Harvard (Buddhism list)
-Far from the Madding Crowd (books by year list, 1874)
-Books Can Be Deceiving (series that my mom wants me to read so we can chat about it)
-As You Wish (from the Read Soon shelf)
-The Return of the Native (everyday audio book in the car/book-a-year challenge - 1878)
-The Spoonflower Handbook (just because)

In addition to these, I have some classics-related texts that I'm working through (quite slowly):
-Asinaria by Plautus (reading in Latin)
-Iliad by Homer (reading in Greek)
-Latin Literature by Gian Biagio Conte
-The Cambridge History of Classical Literature Volume 1 Part 1

Books Read:
(For previous reads, see previous threads.)

DECEMBER
573. Silent Night (Charlie's school library book) - 8/10 = B-
574. Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats (public library book) - 8/10 = B+
575. (#174) The Story of My Tits (borrowed from a friend) - 9/10 = A-
576. On Christmas Eve (Charlie's school library book) - 8/10 = B+
577. (#175) The Marvels (Charlie book) - 9/10 = A
578. You've Got Talent, Charlie Brown! (Charlie book) - 8/10 = B
579. (#176) Prisoner of the Ant People (CYOA book) - 8/10 = B
580. (#177) Fire! (CYOA book) - 8/10 = B
581. (#178) The Fairy Kidnap (CYOA book) - 8/10 = B
582. Ernest's Special Christmas (Charlie's school library book) - 8/10 = B-
583. (#179) Elijah of Buxton (Newbery Honor book, audiobook) - 8/10 = B+
584. Imaginary Fred (public library book) - 9/10 = A
585. (#180) Dinosaurs Before Dark (Charlie book) - 8/10 = B+
586. Chloe and the Lion (Charlie book) - 10/10 = A
587. (#181) I Am the Messenger (1001 Children's Books list, audiobook) - 8/10 = B+
588. Are We There, Yeti? (public library book) - 8/10 = B
589. Christmas in Many Cultures (Charlie's school library book) - 8/10 = B+
590. Nancy Knows (public library book) - 8/10 = B-
591. (#182) Hattie Big Sky (Newbery Honor book, audiobook) - 9/10 = A
592. See Pip Point (public library book) - 8/10 = B
593. The Hueys in None the Number (Charlie book) - 9/10 = A
594. (#183) The Lost Track of Time (book fair purchase) - 8/10 = B-
595. (#184) Entwined (recommended by my librarian friend) - 10/10 = A
596. Millions to Measure (public library book) - 8/10 = B
597. (#185) A Season of Gifts (Charlie book) - 9/10 = A
598. (#186) The Story of Diva and Flea (public library book) - 8/10 = B
599. (#187) The Moon Over High Street (book fair purchase) - 8/10 = B
600. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Charlie bed-time read) - 8/10 = B+
601. How Many Miles to Bethlehem? (public library book) - 8/10 = B

2scaifea
Editat: des. 2, 2015, 6:44am

3connie53
nov. 30, 2015, 1:53pm

Happy new thread!

4scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 1:54pm

And the Bonus Question:

Now that Thanksgiving is over, thoughts turn to that other holiday coming up in, oh, three weeks or so. I dropped a shocking amount of cash today on holiday-related chocolates while grocery shopping - do you have a favorite December treat? Tomm loves the Reece's Christmas Trees. I look forward to the Godiva chocolate box that Santa usually leaves for me...

5scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 1:54pm

>3 connie53: Thanks, Connie!

6scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 1:55pm

Oh, and here's the Scaife Family Christmas Movie List for this year:

7foggidawn
nov. 30, 2015, 2:07pm

Happy new thread! In regards to your bonus question, I sometimes enjoy a chocolate orange -- the kind that breaks into segments. But any chocolate will do!

I did a marathon of Christmas movies on Thanksgiving day -- Home Alone, The Santa Clause, and A Muppet Family Christmas. I also watched Elf and Love Actually during the remainder of the weekend. Normally I would want to watch the Patrick Stewart version of A Christmas Carol, but as I am currently in a stage production of A Christmas Carol, my desire to watch any film version of the show has decreased dramatically. :-)

8scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 2:11pm

>7 foggidawn: My mom usually gets me a chocolate orange for Christmas - so good!
I've never seen the Stewart Christmas Carol, but I do love him.

9casvelyn
nov. 30, 2015, 2:17pm

>6 scaifea: Elf is on there twice! I approve!

Also, we need a photo of the girls!

And I've just exceeded my quota of exclamation points for November! :)

As far as December foods, I'm one of the weird ones who loves fruitcake. And my grandpa always gets these giant homemade eclairs from a local deli. They weigh more than a pound each and are filled with pudding, not whipped cream (as any proper eclair should be). Oh, and cheeseball. There has to be cheeseball. And my dad would argue that ribbon jello salad is also a necessity. Apparently we're stuck in the 1970s here in the casvelyn family.

10rosylibrarian
nov. 30, 2015, 2:20pm

>4 scaifea: Chocolate covered cherries.

11foggidawn
nov. 30, 2015, 2:21pm

>8 scaifea: It's a lesser-known version (made-for-TV, I believe) and some of the special effects are a wee bit cheesy, but the acting is great. It's my favorite version, though as of this year A Christmas Carol: The Musical is right up there with it. :-)

12katiekrug
nov. 30, 2015, 2:23pm

Happy new thread!

I'm also a sucker for a chocolate orange. I also like the bag of Lindt truffles that usually finds its way into my stocking :) Except for the white "chocolate" ones. I loathe white "chocolate."

A Christmas treat I haven't had in ages is chocolate lace. My mother LOVED it and always got a box under the tree. It was delicate sugar candy covered in dark chocolate, and a box came with a few layers of it. Mom would break off some every night and have it as a treat. And sometimes she would even share - ha!

13scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 2:24pm

>9 casvelyn: Yep, we watch a couple of the movies twice!
I've never had fruitcake, if you have believe it. One of these days I'll have to give it a go...
And my mom makes the most amazing cheeseball in this history of cheese or balls. Ha!

And here you go - sorry for the earlier omission:



14scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 2:26pm

>10 rosylibrarian: Marie: Oh, you and my brother - those are his favorites!

>11 foggidawn: I love cheesy, and you can't beat Stewart. I'll have to see if I can track it down.

>12 katiekrug: Katie: Confession time: I bought myself a bag of Lindt truffles today among the other, family, chocolates. And I've hidden them from the Scaife Boys...

15Berly
nov. 30, 2015, 2:32pm

Thanks for posting the list. I should have paid more attention: the trivia question for a discount at the frozen yogurt shop my son and I visited last night was "What is the most popular kid's Christmas movie?" and I answered The Grinch and he answered Rudolph and the right answer was Elf!!! (Why did he want to get something frozen when it was 30 degrees outside? Who knows! LOL)

16luvamystery65
nov. 30, 2015, 2:43pm

Add me to the chocolate orange fans. I also love any of the seasonal Godiva truffles. Yummo!

17jnwelch
nov. 30, 2015, 2:54pm

Happy New Thread, Amber!

Our daughter, a big Princess Bride fan, really enjoyed As You Wish.

18laytonwoman3rd
Editat: nov. 30, 2015, 2:55pm

>10 rosylibrarian: My mother has a weakness for those! My dad used to give her a box for her birthday (on New Year's Eve) every year, and I've continued that tradition since he's gone. But I find them a bit too sweet for me.

My personal favorite December treat is not a sweet at all, but the baccala salad made by one of our local family-owned grocery/deli's. It's just wonderful. And, because I expect a lot of people will be saying "Whhaaaa?" about now, this is it:



It's made from salt cod (well rinsed, multiple times), pepperoncini, celery, bell pepper, green and black olives, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil (lots of variations are possible, but I never met one I like better than this local version).

19scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 3:03pm

>15 Berly: Kim: Huh. I find that trivia question misleading. Is Elf really a kid's movie, primarily? Hmmm...
Also, there's no time that not the right time for Froyo...

>16 luvamystery65: Roberta: I know, right?! So good.

>17 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! You know, I'm not enjoying it as much as I'd hoped. There's too much lavish praise of him fellow actors and not enough actual detail about making the movie. Oh well, I still love the movie lots, so I'll finish the book.

>18 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Ooof, that baccala salad looks good!

20LovingLit
nov. 30, 2015, 3:18pm

>6 scaifea: scan, download, amazon purchase all.......

I am currently trying to get a few movies together for our holiday and needed family friendly ones. Yippee! I hit the jackpot with your list :)

>4 scaifea: my grandmothers recipe for Latvian Christmas Biscuits. Definitely the only December only Xmas treat. I made the seasons first batch of dough last night for baking today. I love Christmas!

21jnwelch
nov. 30, 2015, 3:24pm

>19 scaifea: Hmm. Hope it improves for you. He does seem like an upbeat type who would lavish praise on actors he worked with.

22DeltaQueen50
nov. 30, 2015, 3:26pm

Happy new thread, Amber. It isn't Christmas until I get myself a piece of my Mom's Nanaimo Bars and one of her shortbread cookies!

23luvamystery65
nov. 30, 2015, 3:32pm

Thanks for listing "not sweet" treats! We always enjoy tamales for the holidays.

24susanj67
nov. 30, 2015, 4:00pm

Happy new thread, Amber! Charlie and the girls look like their usual delightful selves :-)

Re sweet treats for Christmas, my father would always make a pavlova on Christmas Eve. Commonly known as a "pav", this is a New Zealand dessert and don't let any Aussies try to convince you otherwise :-)

Here's what a pav looks like (picture from Hazel Fowler, on Wikipedia)



And here's my Dad's recipe, handwritten into my mother's recipe book, which I still have. The comments in brackets are mine:

6 egg whites
1 and a half cups of sugar (just ordinary sugar, not confectioners sugar or anything exotic)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vinegar

Beat the egg whites until very stiff. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture holds peaks. Continue beating and add the vanilla and vinegar. Put on a tray on greaseproof (i.e waxed) paper, and shape with a spatula. Put in an oven pre-heated to 150 Celcius, for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the pav inside until it is cold (for us, this meant Christmas morning)

My notes now: The top will likely crack and fall in, but that's OK, because you decorate the top with whipped cream and you can fill in the gaps, so you will then have slices that are part meringue and part whipped cream. Then decorate with fruit. The one in the picture is, I think, a NZ one, because it has strawberries and kiwifruit and you can just see passionfruit pulp on it too. All these fruits are in season in NZ at Christmas. My mother used to make mayonnaise with the egg yolks, just in case anyone's wondering what to do with them.

25casvelyn
nov. 30, 2015, 4:16pm

>13 scaifea: Squee! I think I say this on your thread at least twice a year, but I LOVE BORDER COLLIES! Normally I'm a cat person, but Border Collies are just awesome.

And Miss Mario looks like she's finally just about grown to where her body is proportionate to her head. She's such a gorgeous dog.

26johnsimpson
nov. 30, 2015, 4:39pm

Hi Amber, happy new thread my dear. If you are still having a problem with your Fountain pen my dear It may be that the ink has dried in the nib area so just give the nib a flush out with warm water, dry and then see if It writes ok then. Sending love and hugs and look out for the mailman soon.

27scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 6:01pm

>20 LovingLit: Megan: You're welcome! Ha! Note that not all of those are kid-friendly, at least in my book: Tomm and I watch Love Actually, Bridget Jones and Down with Love after Charlie has gone to bed.
Those biscuits sound delicious!

>21 jnwelch: Joe: I think reading it straight after finished the Fry book is a bit unfair to Elwes, honestly. Poor chap can't hope to match Fry's prose, I'm afraid.

>22 DeltaQueen50: Judy: Shortbread cookies are one of my favorites!

>23 luvamystery65: Roberta: Oooh, tamales sound amazing right now. Aaaand now I'm really hungry. Thanks for that.

>24 susanj67: Susan: I'm not a fan of meringues at all, but I know lots of folks are, so thanks for sharing the recipe! How lovely that you have it in your father's hand, too.

>25 casvelyn: I can't not love a person who loves Border Collies! They're amazing, aren't they? And Mario is gorgeous and such a cuddler, which makes up for what she may lack upstairs...

>26 johnsimpson: Thanks for the tip, John - I'll try that out tomorrow. I'm looking forward to your letter in the post, too!

28charl08
nov. 30, 2015, 6:09pm

Beautiful photos.

Love the chocolate Christmas thread. I'm rarely one to turn down any kind of Xmas treat. We have a thing for stollen bites in our house, although discovered after purchase
at the Weekend that copious amounts of rum have been added to the recipe. Grumpy face.

But also Toblerone, chocolate orange and Ferrero rocher truffles. And if someone's baking, a chocolate roulade.... oh I'm looking forward to it already :-)

29scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 6:14pm

>28 charl08: Charlotte: I love the word play inherent in "stollen bites." *snork!*
Also, a big YES to Ferrero Rocher chocolates. My mom usually gets me a box of those, too!

30laytonwoman3rd
nov. 30, 2015, 6:35pm

Love Ferrero Rocher, but I don't wait for Christmas. I'm always buying myself the little 3-pack. Bad Linda.

31scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 7:22pm

>30 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Ha! That's not bad, that's self-reliant!

32thornton37814
nov. 30, 2015, 8:35pm

>20 LovingLit: Latvian Christmas Biscuits? Those sound interesting.

>29 scaifea: Speaking of Stollen, I almost bought some in Aldi. I may have to get some this week.

33scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 8:57pm

>32 thornton37814: Lori: Oooh, I haven't been to Aldi in a few weeks - thanks for reminding me! They usually have some pretty great seasonal stuff.

34scaifea
nov. 30, 2015, 8:58pm

We just read a couple of re-reads tonight, nothing new:

-The Magic School Bus: Inside Ralphie
-Christmas Is...

35scaifea
des. 1, 2015, 6:29am

On the agenda for today:

More work on the Great Etsy Shop Reorganization this morning, and then I'll be going in for my Tuesday library volunteering at school this afternoon. Tonight is Science Night at Charlie's school, so we'll be going back for that after dinner. Cheesy Pizza Bread for dinner tonight, I think.

On the reading front: I'm nearly finished with The Marvels, which is very cool so far and I haven't quite figured out the twist, which is always a good thing. I'm also nearly finished with The Story of My Tits, which is powerful and funny and just all-round lovely. And I listened to a bit more of The Return of the Native whilst driving round town yesterday and I'm enjoying it in the way one 'enjoys' Hardy, if one can call it that...

The calendar book today: The Edge of the Crazies by Jamie Harrison, which sounds pretty good. Anyone read it?

36msf59
des. 1, 2015, 6:49am

Morning Amber! Happy New thread! Love that Charlie topper!

Glad you are enjoying The Marvels. He is such an interesting artist.

37scaifea
des. 1, 2015, 7:01am

>36 msf59: Morning, Mark! Isn't he, though? I haven't read Wonderstruck yet, but need to get round to it...

38msf59
des. 1, 2015, 7:24am

Hugo Cabret is his High Point, though. The last 2 are are good but not on that same level. IMHO.

39Fourpawz2
des. 1, 2015, 8:07am

When my father was a sexton and didn't get home until about 1:30 AM on Christmas Day we used to make Love in a Cottage to eat while we checked out the presents in our Christmas stockings. My great grandmother who lived on a monthly allowance was a terrible planner so the family did not always eat well at the end of the month. Love in a Cottage was one of her go-to things at month's end. It's a piece of toast with a layer of cheddar, ketchup and a few slices of bacon on top and then cooked in the broiler for the bacon to cook and the cheese to melt. Terribly unhealthy I'm sure but really good in the wee hours of a cold morning. Don't know whether this a real thing out there in the world or just a weird family thing.

40bell7
des. 1, 2015, 8:21am

I have to pick just one treat? Among such choices as cranberry bark and peanut butter balls and these cranberry white chocolate scones that one of our trustees' wives makes for the holiday party? And eggnog, and and...

Oh, well, I guess what I like most isn't really one treat anyways. Around this time of year, a lot of our library patrons bring in goodies and our staff room is overflowing with their generosity. In a customer service job (that is, I admit, easier than most because almost everyone who walks into the library is happy rather than grumpy, with a few notable exceptions) it's nice to feel appreciated, and this is the time of year we "see" that appreciation the most.

41Carmenere
des. 1, 2015, 8:26am

Happy New Thread! Happy December!

My favorite Christmas treat..........
Apricot kolaches. My grandmother made them, my aunt, my mom and now me. I could eat the whole batch!

42scaifea
des. 1, 2015, 8:27am

>38 msf59: Mark: I did really love Cabret, but I'm really liking Marvels, too...

>39 Fourpawz2: Charlotte: Oooh, Love in a Cottage sounds delicious! I may have to try it with Charlie.

>40 bell7: Mary: Oh, no cranberries for me, please, but the peanut butter balls sound good! And how lovely that your patrons bring in goodies for you!

43scaifea
des. 1, 2015, 8:27am

>41 Carmenere: Lynda: Ooof, those look amazing!

44rosylibrarian
des. 1, 2015, 9:28am

>41 Carmenere: Oh my goodness. Those look amazing. How do you make them?

45Ameise1
des. 1, 2015, 11:31am

Happy New Thread, Amber. Well, I love all the adventskalender like each house in our street will be decorated special (we had to take a number and our turn to start is the 2nd). Furthermore, our virtuel calender (I hope you got it). Than a special adventskalender at our school (each class is visiting the other classes on a given day and surprise them with something special. My class will tell them a story book).

46lycomayflower
Editat: des. 1, 2015, 4:13pm

Love seeing your Christmas movies list!

BQ: My Gram used to send us a Dobish Torte every year from some catalogue food company or other. I *loved* it. Haven't had that in years. I think I have a vague recollection of it's not being very good anymore after some point? I don't know. It's a firm part of Christmas in my memory even though it's probably been more Christmases now that I haven't had one than I did. Also, roll-out butter cookies. We always made these, cutting them out in the shapes of trees, snowmen, candles, stars, and bells. Then with the homemade icing. It's just possible I ate enough raw dough to feel fairly sick most years. (It was so. good.) Sometimes I still make these myself.

47scaifea
des. 1, 2015, 4:41pm

>46 lycomayflower: Oh! I remember my mom ordering a torte for us one year as a sort of special treat (we didn't have much extra money for such things, so a mail-order cake was *special*)! I remember loving it, too. We do rool-out cookies, too, although I generally find them exhausting. Ha!

48lycomayflower
des. 1, 2015, 5:49pm

>47 scaifea: Yep, those cookies are exhausting. That's why I only sometimes make them anymore--usually only if I have someone to "share" the work with. Ha!

49scaifea
des. 1, 2015, 6:22pm

>48 lycomayflower: Oh, good plan! *snork!*

50thornton37814
des. 1, 2015, 8:44pm

>41 Carmenere: I'm stealing one of those kaloches off the plate.

51scaifea
des. 1, 2015, 9:13pm

573. Silent Night by Sandy Turner (Charlie's school library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B-
574. Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats by Alicia Potter (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B+

Also Read Today:

-National Geographic Kids November 2015 issue

52weird_O
des. 1, 2015, 10:27pm

>6 scaifea: Oh heavens. How could you not have Miracle on 34th Street on your list. Mark's postal service vouches for Kris Kringle's authenticity. Maureen O'Hara. Young Natalie Wood. Edmund Gwenn.

On the other hand, you've neglected Die Hard also. Now there's a movie set at Christmas that Charlie won't forget. I'm kidding, I'm kidding!

53cbl_tn
des. 1, 2015, 11:32pm

My favorite holiday treat is Royal Rivera pears from Harry & David. My mother started ordering them a few years before she died and I've continued the tradition.

54banjo123
des. 2, 2015, 12:11am

Happy new thread and pass the gingerbread cookies, please!

55Berly
des. 2, 2015, 1:58am

>19 scaifea: That' what I said about Elf!! LOL. Now I have to go get a snack. Thanks people. ; )

56scaifea
des. 2, 2015, 6:31am

>52 weird_O: Bill: Well, I'm just not a fan, really, of either movie. Sorrynotsorry.

>53 cbl_tn: Carrie: I've never had Harry & David's stuff. It looks so fancypants. Ha!

>54 banjo123: Rhonda: Charlie has invited a friend over on Friday afternoon for a "Christmas Cookie Making Party" (his words, not mine), so I guess I'll be whipping up a batch of gingerbread cookie dough...

>55 Berly: Kim: Ha! Welcome!

57scaifea
des. 2, 2015, 6:35am

On the agenda for today:

I'll be working in the sewing room this morning after taking Charlie to school and before I have to head to Dubuque for a dentist's appointment (just a 6-month check-up and cleaning that will not lead, hopefully, to anything else), then back home for more sewing before time to pick up Charlie. Lots of holiday projects to get done before the 25th, starting off with a new robe for Charlie (his current one seems to have turned into one with 3/4-length sleeves somehow overnight...).

On the reading front: I finished The Story of My Tits last night (more on that later), and listened to a bit more of The Return of the Native (that Eustacia, though).

The calendar book for today is one of the rare ones that I've honest-to-goodness read: Aesop's Fables.

58scaifea
Editat: des. 2, 2015, 6:46am

575. (174th non-picture (sort of) book) The Story of My Tits by Jennifer Hayden (borrowed from a friend, 344GN pages) - 9/10 = A-

A brutally honest, sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying, always sincere memoir of a woman who has battled breast cancer with her family and loved ones and ultimately with her own body, with which, in the end, she comes to terms and finds a sort of peace. Loved it, even though the illustrations aren't generally the kind I enjoy, I still loved the story - and this woman - lots.

Charlie Reading List Update:

3. Mr. Pants: It's Go Time! (After finishing a read-aloud to Tomm and me a couple of days ago, Charlie picked this one up yesterday morning before school and re-read the whole thing to himself before time to go (it's a GN, so yes I was impressed but it's not a miraculous happening or anything).)

59msf59
des. 2, 2015, 7:05am

Morning, Amber! I love your description of TSOMT! I hope your warbling, leads others to try this gem. This might be my favorite GN of the year.

60scaifea
des. 2, 2015, 7:43am

>59 msf59: Mark: Oh, my warbling isn't as powerful as yours! Ha! It's certainly a good one, and I hope she writes more.

61laytonwoman3rd
des. 2, 2015, 8:24am

>46 lycomayflower: Omigosh, I had forgotten about the dobosh tortes...that looks EXACTLY like the ones that we got when they were still good. Over the years they got smaller and smaller, and the filling got skimpier and skimpier until, as you say, they just weren't very good any more. That said, they were not MY favorite, but your Dad really loved them.

62jnwelch
des. 2, 2015, 9:13am

>58 scaifea: Jeez, Amber, you and Ellen both read The Story of My Tits much faster than I have! I'm about 3/4 of the way through, and agree with all your comments on it.

63scaifea
des. 2, 2015, 9:14am

>61 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda!

>62 jnwelch: Joe: I read through it as fast as I could and to the neglect of my other current books because I had borrowed it from someone, which always makes me feel that I need to get it back as soon as possible. It's good, though, isn't it?

64jnwelch
des. 2, 2015, 9:23am

>63 scaifea: Yes, really good. Among the best of the year for me, and there have been a lot of good GNs this year.

65johnsimpson
des. 2, 2015, 4:12pm

Hi Amber, just passing by to say hi and sending love and hugs my dear.

66scaifea
des. 2, 2015, 4:50pm

>65 johnsimpson: Thanks, John! Your pen advice worked a charm, too!

67johnsimpson
des. 2, 2015, 5:01pm

>66 scaifea:, Glad that my usual fail safe method worked, I always try this first as it is usually dried up ink that causes a problem. I thought I might have to do this with the two vintage ones I bought on Sunday but once filled they were ok.

68BLBera
des. 2, 2015, 6:29pm

Happy newish thread. Great pics of all the kids.

I read The Edge of the Crazies years ago and loved it. Quirky characters with great setting. A fun mystery.

I think sugar cookies is my favorite Christmas food. And since Miss Scout is into decorating, I think I might be eating a few of them this year.

69Familyhistorian
des. 2, 2015, 8:46pm

Happy newish thread, Amber. Couldn't catch up with the threads any earlier today because LT was having issues around my lunch time, so I am way behind as I have spent the last few days (weeks) entering books on LT which somehow made it onto my shelves but didn't make it into my virtual library.

For the bonus question, I make sure that I have plenty of good shortbread and mincemeat tarts at this time of year.

70scaifea
des. 2, 2015, 8:52pm

>68 BLBera: Hi, Beth! Thanks for the vote for The Edge of the Crazies - good to know that you liked it so much.
I'm glad you like sugar cookies, and best of luck with all of that decorating help! *grins*

71scaifea
des. 2, 2015, 8:53pm

>69 Familyhistorian: Meg: Oooh, I'm a big fan of mincemeat pie, but I'm the only one in my family. Luckily my mom makes one for me anyway. So spoiled.

72scaifea
des. 2, 2015, 8:54pm

576. On Christmas Eve by Margaret Wise Brown (Charlie's school library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B+

Also Read Today:
-Rudolph's Bag of Toys

73Familyhistorian
des. 2, 2015, 9:03pm

>71 scaifea: Mincemeat pie/tarts are like that, Amber. Either you love them or hate them!

74thornton37814
des. 2, 2015, 9:33pm

I'm afraid I'm addicted to white chocolate pretzels around Christmas! I also love something called crock pot candy that uses about 4 kinds of chocolate and peanuts. You probably noticed a theme . . . sweet and salty.

75cbl_tn
des. 2, 2015, 9:39pm

>74 thornton37814: I read that as "crack pot candy". I'd say it's time to get my eyes checked, but I just did that. The new glasses aren't ready yet, though.

Crock pot candy sounds much better!

76scaifea
des. 3, 2015, 6:50am

>73 Familyhistorian: Meg: I think you're right!

>74 thornton37814: Lori: I agree with the sweet and salty thing - so good. And Chocolate Covered Pretzels are amazing.

>75 cbl_tn: Carrie: "Crack pot candy" - *snork!*

77scaifea
des. 3, 2015, 6:56am

On the agenda for today:

Whelp, Charlie woke up a bit ago with vomiting and diarrhea, so we're staying home today. Poor guy is going to miss a trip to the middle school with his class to visit their '5th Grade Buddies' and he's devastated. So, he's wrapped up and cozy on the couch watching Wreck-It Ralph (his go-to, I-Don't-Feel-Good movie) with orange juice and the Vomit Bucket. I'll be spending time in the sewing room today, then, and hanging out with The Patient. I may make up a batch of Cream of Celery Soup for dinner.

On the reading front: I finished The Marvels (more on that in a minute) and listened to some of Elijah of Buxton (an okay listen so far but not as enjoyable as Curtis' other stuff, I think) and The Return of the Native (still fairly Hardy-y) yesterday.

The calendar book for today is another one that I've already read (I'm on a roll this week!): The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester. I'm a fan of Winchester and this is maybe my favorite of the ones I've read so far.

78msf59
des. 3, 2015, 7:00am

Morning, Amber! Well, it looks like our fine country is in mourning again...sighs. It feels like a nightmare, we can not escape. Sad.

Sorry, that Charlie is under the weather. Hopefully, it is short-lived.

I have not read Winchester.

79scaifea
des. 3, 2015, 7:10am

577. (175th non-picture book) The Marvels by Brian Selznick (Charlie book, 665 pages (but a good 2/3 of those pages are entirely illustrations)) - 9/10 = A
Ooof, this is a good one, folks. I loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but I think I love this one even more. Gorgeous illustrations, of course, and the story is magical. Plus, this little exchange made my heart sing:

"But what about your books, Joseph? I saw the collection you brought with you from school. Your suitcase was filled with stories. I saw Charles Dickens, and Roald Dahl, and Madeleine L'Engle. I know you love stories. Do you think *they* don't matter?"
Joseph thought of Penney at the theatre and he spat the old man's words back at his uncle: "*Stories aren't the same as facts!*"
Albert paused and said, "No, but they can *both* be true."

A lesson I'm trying to teach Charlie and a particular passion of mine - stories are, to my mind, so important, because they speak truth to us, and knowing the difference between fact and truth is also incredibly important, because the difference between Fact and Truth is vast.

80scaifea
des. 3, 2015, 7:12am

>78 msf59: Mark: Whoa, what?! You haven't read Winchester?! You'd best get on that, friend. *grins*
And, yes, I know, right? What is happening in this country? I feel like I'm living in a world that's just about to experience the Big Disaster Before the Distopia of a YA novel...

81susanj67
des. 3, 2015, 7:32am

>77 scaifea: Poor Charlie. I hope the bucket isn't needed too often.

82lauralkeet
des. 3, 2015, 7:42am

Aw, poor Charlie. I hope he recovers quickly.

83Carmenere
des. 3, 2015, 7:53am

>77 scaifea: Oh my! I forgot I purchased The Professor and the Madman a few years back. Since I hope to read the other Winchester's I own next year, I might as well throw this one into the mix as well. Bringing up my planned reads to 90 next year. OK stop laughing, I dream big. :0}

Get better soon, Charlie!

84scaifea
des. 3, 2015, 8:32am

>81 susanj67: Me, too, Susan.

>82 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. Poor tiger.

>83 Carmenere: Lynda: Ha! You can do it! And I think you'll love The Professor and the Madman.

85Carmenere
des. 3, 2015, 8:50am

>84 scaifea: I just pulled my book off the shelf, Amber, and the title is The Surgeon of Crowthorne. A tale of murder, madness and the love of Words. I purchased it at a second hand bookstore in Virginia and it is the UK edition.

86scaifea
des. 3, 2015, 8:57am

>85 Carmenere: Oh, very cool!

87charl08
des. 3, 2015, 9:09am

Sending more get well wishes to Charlie. Hope he gets to see the other class another time soonish.

88scaifea
des. 3, 2015, 9:19am

>87 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte!

89katiekrug
des. 3, 2015, 10:35am

Aw, sorry to hear about Charlie. Hope the yuckiness is short lived!

90scaifea
des. 3, 2015, 10:47am

>89 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. He's already starting to feel better, I think.

91PaulCranswick
des. 3, 2015, 6:33pm

Sorry I am late to the party this time, Amber dear.

>4 scaifea: My December treat is not really edible. We have the world's biggest and best booksale starting today and I may just treat myself!

92scaifea
des. 3, 2015, 8:53pm

>91 PaulCranswick: Paul: "may"? Oh, don't be coy, mister. Ha!
My local library is having a sale this weekend, too, and I perhaps will visit...

93scaifea
des. 3, 2015, 8:58pm

578. You've Got Talent, Charlie Brown! by Tina Gallo (Charlie book, easy reader) - 8/10 = B
Charlie picked this easy reader movie adaptation out at the book fair and read it aloud to Tomm and me over the course of a few nights, finishing tonight.

Also Read Today:

-The Elephant and the Bad Baby
-The Christmas Book

94jjvors
des. 3, 2015, 10:45pm

Favorite Christmas treat: My mother would typically make 300-500 cookies each year, about 8-10 different kinds: short bread, spritz, brazil nut sticks, hazel nut rings, Mexican wedding cakes, almond bars, Danish saddle bars. Of those, the hazel nut rings were my favorites: flavored with hazel nuts and topped with meringue.

95Chatterbox
des. 4, 2015, 1:00am

I used to do a lot of experimenting with Xmas cookies. ALWAYS the shortbread and gingerbread, and a recipe for chocolate rum balls that I picked up in Japan. A very esoteric recipe that involves smashing the Japanese equivalent of Marie biscuits with rolling pins (in a bag) and then dumping them in a pot on the stove with melted chocolate and coconut and raisins (and rum). The very messy mix gets rolled (ball shape) in chocolate sprinkles.

96The_Hibernator
des. 4, 2015, 6:27am

That's a fantastic Charlie topper. You take such great pictures, Amber!

97scaifea
des. 4, 2015, 6:33am

>94 jjvors: Jeff You would be interested to know, then, that I just brought home a large cool whip container full of hazelnuts from my mom (who shelled them for me - we used to do it together every year when I still lived at home and we get them from the neighbor's tree), so that I can bake cookies...

>95 Chatterbox: Suzanne: *drools*....I'll be right over...

>96 The_Hibernator: Aw, thanks, Rachel! Sometimes I manage to get a pretty good one, no?

98scaifea
des. 4, 2015, 6:38am

On the agenda for today:

Charlie is feeling better! Woot! (I think it must have been something he ate, because it was just the one bout of business yesterday morning and then he was fine the rest of the day.) So his friend will be coming home with him after Early Release (12:30) to spend the afternoon playing. This morning I'll be grocery shopping and then spending the rest of the morning in the sewing room working on Christmas presents. Beef Roast with Potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding for dinner tonight, I think.

On the reading front: I read a bit of The Dalai Lama at Harvard last night before falling asleep, which is very good but I have to concentrate pretty hard on it, so it's slow-going. Fascinating stuff, though.

The calendar book today: The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power by Kim Ghattas. Anyone read this one?

99msf59
des. 4, 2015, 7:09am

Morning, Amber! Happy Friday! Glad to hear Charlie is feeling better. Yah!

I am grinding away at the work week. I SEE daylight...

100scaifea
des. 4, 2015, 7:40am

>99 msf59: Morning, Mark! The mail must be getting heavier now, right? Stay strong, friend. *grins*

101laytonwoman3rd
des. 4, 2015, 8:31am

Mmmm....hazelnuts.

102scaifea
des. 4, 2015, 8:35am

>101 laytonwoman3rd: I know, right?!

103scaifea
des. 4, 2015, 3:26pm

Charlie and his friend are having a blast, playing board games and drawing pictures. So fun to listen to them playing. Meanwhile, I thought I'd report on what I've been working on in my sewing room lately. Here's Charlie's new robe:



And here's what I'm making for Charlie's teacher, and a few other people at his school, as this year's Christmas gift:

104lycomayflower
des. 4, 2015, 5:11pm

>103 scaifea: Nice work on that robe (and a very handsome young gentleman sporting it)! And that pencil holder is *very* cool.

105laytonwoman3rd
des. 4, 2015, 6:24pm

>104 lycomayflower: By which she means she'd like one of each for herself. (Maybe not including the young gentleman...not sure about that!)

106scaifea
des. 4, 2015, 7:11pm

>104 lycomayflower: Laura: Thanks! I'm thinking that I may eventually make some of the pencil holders for the etsy shop.

>105 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: *snork!* The young gentleman is not part of the deal, I'm afraid. Shame, really, as he's honestly my best work...

107scaifea
des. 4, 2015, 10:04pm

579. (176th non-picture book) Prisoner of the Ant People by R. A. Montgomery (CYOA book, 115 pages) - 8/10 = B
580. (177th non-picture book) Fire! by R. A. Montgomery (CYOA book, 52 pages) - 8/10 = B
581. (178th non-picture book) The Fairy Kidnap by Shannon Gilligan (CYOA book, 54 pages) - 8/10 = B
582. Ernest's Special Christmas by Laura T. Barnes (Charlie's school library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B-

Also Read Today:
-Each Peach Pear Plum
-Hello Kitty: Secret Santa

108Ameise1
des. 5, 2015, 7:25am

Wishing you a lovely weekend, Amber.

109scaifea
des. 5, 2015, 7:29am

>108 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara!

110scaifea
des. 5, 2015, 7:34am

On the agenda for today:

While Tomm takes Charlie to gymnastics this morning, I'll be going to the library book sale - WOOT! Otherwise, the usual weekend chores (laundry, bills, photos), possibly some baking (I have dough chilling in the fridge for Speculaas cookies), some time in the sewing room and hopefully some reading. At some point this weekend we need to take our annual family photo, too...

On the reading front: I listened to a big chunk of Elijah of Buxton yesterday while sewing and I'm nearly finished with it - it has taken a turn for the much better in the second half. I also listened to a bit of The Return of the Native while driving round to various grocery shops. And I read through a small stack of CYOA books (see above).

The calendar book's weekend quote come from Maya Angelou: "I am overwhelmed by the grace and persistence of my people."

111msf59
des. 5, 2015, 8:16am

Morning Amber! Happy Saturday! Last work day. Yah!

Good luck at the book sale!

112scaifea
des. 5, 2015, 8:54am

>111 msf59: Thanks, Mark!

113scaifea
des. 5, 2015, 11:40am

My library book sale haul:

114The_Hibernator
des. 5, 2015, 12:13pm

Good haul. I own Zealot, but haven't read it.

115scaifea
des. 5, 2015, 12:26pm

>114 The_Hibernator: Rachel: I heard good things about it here, which is why I picked it up today.

116lauralkeet
des. 5, 2015, 12:28pm

Wow, that's a GREAT haul!

117ffortsa
des. 5, 2015, 1:51pm

great book haul. And an intriguing glimpse of chez Scaife.

118PiyushC
des. 5, 2015, 3:56pm

>113 scaifea: Nice haul! I haven't read any of them, but a lot of them are on my TBR.

119scaifea
des. 5, 2015, 9:13pm

>116 lauralkeet: Laura: I know, right?! All for $5.

>117 ffortsa: Ha! Yep, that's normally the background for my book stacks.

>118 PiyushC: Thanks, Piyush!

120scaifea
des. 5, 2015, 9:19pm

583. (179th non-picture book) Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis (Newbery Honor book, audiobook) - 8/10 = B+
This one started out slow for me, but by the end it was packing a considerable whomp. Recommended.

584. Imaginary Fred by Eion Colfer (public library book) - 9/10 = A
Charlie and I loved this one about how imaginary friends work and how two of them managed to beat the system.

121connie53
des. 6, 2015, 2:33am

Happy Sunday, Amber!

122scaifea
des. 6, 2015, 7:36am

Thanks, Connie!

123scaifea
des. 6, 2015, 7:38am

On the agenda for today:

It's Scaife Family Picture Day, and then I may do some more baking (Flourless Chocolate Torte) and hopefully there will be time and energy for the sewing room.

On the reading front:

I finished Elijah of Buxton yesterday (see above), started listening to I Am the Messenger, which is already a hoot, and read a couple of chapters in A Time of Changes.

124msf59
des. 6, 2015, 8:13am

Happy Sunday, Amber! Nice book haul! Sadly, I have had State of wonder in the stacks forever. I know it has a mixed LT response but I would like to see for myself. Yah, for Doctorow. Are you going to bookhorn that one in, for this month?

125scaifea
des. 6, 2015, 8:17am

>124 msf59: Mark: No, I'm afraid the Doctorow isn't on the menu for this month, but I did think fondly of you and the AAC when I picked it up yesterday...

126msf59
des. 6, 2015, 8:20am

City of God is one I have not read. I'll be reading World's Fair. Have you read that one?

BTW- I can not praise A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories high enough, and I am barely halfway through...

127scaifea
des. 6, 2015, 9:51am

>126 msf59: Mark: I'm sad to say that even though he's a Kenyon grad, I've not read *any* of his stuff yet. That needs fixin' soon...

128laytonwoman3rd
des. 6, 2015, 11:44am

City of God is a toughie. I tried once, and gave up....I think it's helpful to be familiar with Augustine's work of the same name. So it's on my "projects" list for someday.

129scaifea
des. 6, 2015, 12:04pm

>128 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Whelp, I think I'll be okay then. *grins*

130scaifea
Editat: des. 6, 2015, 1:43pm

Well, I'm trying to post our Scaife Family Holiday Photos, but LT seems to be wonky right now...

131scaifea
Editat: des. 6, 2015, 3:30pm

Okay, let's try this again...

I give you the Scaife Family Holiday Photos:









132thornton37814
des. 6, 2015, 3:46pm

Great photos! I especially love the one of Charlie and the dog.

133laytonwoman3rd
des. 6, 2015, 4:00pm

>129 scaifea: I thought you might!

>131 scaifea: Lovely -- all of them. Tuppence looks a little uncertain, though.

134connie53
des. 6, 2015, 4:03pm

Ohh....pictures. Very nice and festive!

135scaifea
des. 6, 2015, 4:29pm

>132 thornton37814: Lori: I know, right? A boy and his dog...

>133 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: Tuppence is our resident Grinch, I'm afraid. Mario makes up for Tuppence's lack of enthusiasm, though, as she is definitely our Elf. ("Smiling's my favorite!" "What's a Christmas-gram - I want one!")

>134 connie53: Thanks, Connie!

136humouress
des. 6, 2015, 5:11pm

137scaifea
des. 6, 2015, 5:35pm

585. (180th non-picture book) Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne (Charlie book, 68 pages) - 8/10 = B+
I wanted to read this one because Charlie had read it on his own and I wanted to be able to chat with him about it, if he wants to do so.

138lauralkeet
des. 6, 2015, 7:06pm

Those photos are great. And a big thank you for Tomm for allowing a photo of him to be posted!! You guys make a lovely family.

139Donna828
des. 6, 2015, 8:35pm

LOVE love love the family photos! Charlie is getting so tall. I'm glad his recent illness was short lived.

I'd like to join in on some of those Christmas movies. You saved our favorite for Christmas! That may be the only one we watch this year, although we did see our local Little Theatre's production of Miracle on 34th Street, the Musical. We have many talented children in our area.

140scaifea
des. 6, 2015, 9:01pm

>138 lauralkeet: Laura: Yeah, I didn't really tell him that I was posting that photo, but since it's the one that goes out in the holiday cards, I figure it's fair game.
And thank you! I do think my Scaife Men are just about the most handsome things on the planet...

>139 Donna828: Donna: I'm glad you like the looks of the movie list! I'm considering taking Charlie to the local Nutcracker production this year, which features local kids. I think he may be ready to sit through the whole thing and enjoy it.

141scaifea
des. 6, 2015, 9:08pm

586. Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett (Charlie book, picture book) - 10/10 = A
We love Mac Barnett here at Scaife Manor, and this one is no exception. Clever and inventive and hilarious. Definitely recommended.

Also Read Today:
-Lego City: Save This Christmas!

142scaifea
des. 7, 2015, 6:47am

On the agenda for today:

Tuppence has a laser treatment this morning at the vet's office, so I'll drop her off there and then run a couple of errands in town. Otherwise, the school day will be spend in the sewing room - I'm working on a Christmas present for Charlie (if it turns out okay, I'll post photos when it's finished)... Cream of Corn Soup for dinner tonight, I think...

Oh, and the Flourless Chocolate Torte turned out pretty amazing - I'll try to remember to post the recipe later on.

On the reading front: I started The Lost Track of Time yesterday and it seems promising so far. I also read a couple of chapters in Far from the Madding Crowd last night, which is completely enjoyable so far, too.

The calendar book today: Tea by Stacy D'Erasmo. Sounds pretty interesting (the blurb compares it to Jeanette Winterson's work - anyone read it?

143msf59
des. 7, 2015, 7:51am

Morning Amber! LOVE the family photos. I saw them over on FB and I was hoping you would share them here. Such a good-looking family.

144scaifea
des. 7, 2015, 7:58am

>143 msf59: Aw, thanks, Mark!!

145bell7
Editat: des. 7, 2015, 10:18am

What lovely family photos!

Also hoping to see the mysteriously mentioned Christmas gift for Charlie... :)

I always love the idea of homemade gifts but am very bad about following through with them. This year, I did a whole bunch of Christmas shopping on Amazon... it started off with wanting to get my brother-in-law green coffee beans to roast himself, then I needed to get the order up to $35 for free shipping and then it just snowballed from there 'til I'm (surprisingly) nearly done with my shopping list.

146scaifea
des. 7, 2015, 10:30am

>145 bell7: Mary: For Tomm's family I did that, too - ordered books for the lot of them. But for my parents and for Charlie's teachers I always want to make something. I need to start sooner, though. Ha!

147scaifea
Editat: des. 7, 2015, 3:04pm

I'd like you to meet Marcus (I'd show you more of him, but since I haven't made his clothing yet, he isn't decent):



148jjvors
des. 7, 2015, 5:05pm

Shelling hazelnuts with one's mother--there's something we have in common! We also shelled almonds and brazil nuts. Of course, my experiences were in the early 60s, unlike you Gen Xers.

149scaifea
des. 7, 2015, 5:16pm

>148 jjvors: Jeff: I suspect the experience was much the same, even so.

150scaifea
des. 7, 2015, 5:54pm

587. (181st non-picture book) I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak (1001 Children's Books list, audiobook) - 8/10 = B+
A funny, cool and at times intense book about a young man who finds himself the Messenger for an unknown sort of vigilante.

151scaifea
des. 7, 2015, 9:21pm

588. Are We There, Yeti? by Ashlyn Anstee (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B

Also Read Today:

-The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Book

152laytonwoman3rd
des. 7, 2015, 9:55pm

>148 jjvors: I shelled butternuts with my grandmother, and later with my Dad. Now THAT's an experience. Despite being called "white walnuts", they would stain your fingers brown if you didn't wear gloves. And they had to be smashed with a hammer---an ordinary nutcracker wouldn't do it. But, oh, the cake my grandmother made with them was so awesome. I believe the nuts were stored all winter, and the cake was usually made for my Dad's birthday in March. It wasn't something we got any other time. And now, of course, the trees have all died in our part of the country.

153humouress
des. 8, 2015, 12:17am

>147 scaifea: Hi Marcus! Are you something to do with Charlie's Christmas gift?

154scaifea
des. 8, 2015, 6:25am

>152 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: We would crack open the hazelnuts using a hammer and a vise, believe it or not, out in the renovated chicken house, and then take them all in the house to pick out. We always had black walnuts, too, and special, old shoes and gloves for taking off the outer shell in one of the old barns, then letting them dry out before cracking them open. My mom still does both and bakes with both. The black walnuts are an acquired taste, though - and the ones you buy in the store, when you can find them, taste *nothing* like the 'real thing.'

>153 humouress: Nina: Yep, he *is* Charlie's Christmas gift. I'll try to get the poor fella's clothes made today (he must be chilly)...

155scaifea
des. 8, 2015, 6:28am

On the agenda for today:

Another morning spend in the sewing room, this time making Marcus' clothing, before heading in to school for my Tuesday afternoon library volunteering. I really ought to get cracking on my Christmas cards at some point, too... Leftovers for dinner tonight, I think.

On the reading front: I read a bit more of The Lost Track of Time, which has a neat premise but the writing isn't great, and a few more chapters in A Time of Changes, which has hit a slow spot here in the middle. Or maybe I'm just a reading grouch right now...

The calendar book for today sounds interesting: Jim the Boy by Tony Earley. Anyone read this one?

157msf59
des. 8, 2015, 6:46am

Morning, Amber! Love this mild weather. Close to 50 for the rest of the week. Sweet!

I LOVED Jim the Boy. You would too. Sadly, I still not read the sequel.

^^I do not see an image in #147

158scaifea
des. 8, 2015, 6:55am

>157 msf59: Morning, Mark! Huh. I'm not sure why you can't see Marcus in >147 scaifea:... I'll try posting another photo once he's all finished.

And, okay then - I'll add Jim the Boy to the wishlist, and I didn't know there was a sequel!

159msf59
des. 8, 2015, 7:10am

What's up with the spam? It's like an infestation. Gross...

160scaifea
des. 8, 2015, 8:24am

>159 msf59: Best just to ignore it, I think.

161laytonwoman3rd
des. 8, 2015, 8:24am

>154 scaifea: As I recall, the butternuts were spread out in the barn loft to dry, and I didn't care for the taste of them until they appeared in the cake. My grandmother may have done something to them that I don't know about. I did some internet prowling and see all kinds of recommendations about soaking them in various concoctions to mellow them out.

162scaifea
des. 8, 2015, 8:34am

>161 laytonwoman3rd: I can't eat nuts, generally (they make my mouth completely sore) but I do love the smell of them. The soaking issue is interesting - my mom never did anything like that.

163jnwelch
des. 8, 2015, 8:58am

>132 thornton37814: Great photos, Amber. Thanks for posting those.

Like Mark, I LOVED Jim the Boy, and I think you would, too. I also liked the sequel, The Blue Star.

At some point, Charlie may like The Ranger's Apprentice series. I just started the new one, The Tournament at Gorlan.

164charl08
des. 8, 2015, 8:58am

Intrigued to find out how Marcus will be clothed. So many options! Lovely idea.

165scaifea
des. 8, 2015, 9:23am

>163 jnwelch: Joe: Good to know that you liked Jim the Boy, too! It's definitely going on the list.
And thanks for the potential Charlie book tip!

>164 charl08: I've picked out some neat fabrics from my scraps for a shirt and overalls, a hat and scarf. In fact, I didn't have to buy anything at all to make this present - one of the benefits of being a fabric hoarder...
The scarf may not work out to my liking, in which case I'll knit one myself. We'll see how it goes.

166RBeffa
des. 8, 2015, 1:24pm

>131 scaifea: nice family pix. I love the Charlie kiss one.

167rosalita
des. 8, 2015, 2:22pm

Jim the Boy is awesome, but Mark and Joe already told you that. And Joe told me that there's a sequel, which I did not know. Off to hunt that down ...

168scaifea
des. 8, 2015, 6:18pm

>166 RBeffa: Thanks, Ron - I love that one, too.

>167 rosalita: Julia! They're helpful lads, aren't they? Love those Chicago boys.

169MickyFine
des. 8, 2015, 6:32pm

Ridiculously behind. Just poking my nose in and waving.

170DeltaQueen50
des. 8, 2015, 7:01pm

I'm another one who has read both Jim the Boy and The Blue Star and both were excellent.

171scaifea
des. 8, 2015, 9:43pm

>169 MickyFine: Hi, Micky!

>170 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy - good to know you liked them!

172scaifea
des. 8, 2015, 9:43pm

589. Christmas in Many Cultures by Martha E. H. Rustad (Charlie's school library book, easy reader) - 8/10 = B+

Also Read Today:
-A Cars Christmas

173scaifea
des. 9, 2015, 6:42am

On the agenda for today:

Dentist appointment this afternoon (I had to reschedule last week's because of the slippery weather). The rest of the school day will be spent in the sewing room finishing up (hopefully) Marcus so that I can then get back to the coffee mug pen organizers. And I still haven't started on the Christmas cards... Gourmet (*ahem*) Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for dinner tonight, I think.

On the reading front: I started listening to Hattie Big Sky, a Newbery Honor book which is excellent so far - I'm already ready to recommend it to several people. And I listened to a bit more of The Return of the Native, which is getting very interesting, with a tense bit of gambling and some marital troubles on the horizon. And before falling asleep last night I read the first chapter of Books Can Be Deceiving, which I think will be a fun story although the writing isn't fabulous. It's a cozy set in a library, with the first chapter being about a Crafternoon of book talk (they discussed Rebecca!) and knitting - what more could a gal want? Besides better writing, of course. (Oops! Sorry, try not to step in that puddle of early morning snark, there.)

The calendar book for the day: Evensong by Gail Godwin. I think some in our group have read this - what do you think of it? It sounds pretty good, really.

174msf59
des. 9, 2015, 6:52am

Morning, Amber! I think I read a Godwin many years ago. I can't even remember the title.

Looks like a decent day. I will take it...

175scaifea
des. 9, 2015, 7:04am

>174 msf59: I know, right? I've already been out with The Gals and it seems pretty mild.

176scaifea
des. 9, 2015, 11:14am

Marcus is finished!

177lycomayflower
des. 9, 2015, 11:32am

>176 scaifea: Marcus is really cool!

178Carmenere
des. 9, 2015, 11:41am

Great photos, Amber! Family, book haul and sewing projects, all!!!

179scaifea
des. 9, 2015, 11:55am

>177 lycomayflower: >178 Carmenere: Thanks, Ladies! I'm pretty fond of Marcus already. He's told me that he really likes Hello Kitty, too, so he's pretty excited to meet Charlie. If I have time, I may have to make him a tiny version of the Hello Kitty teddy bear that I made for Charlie last year, along with a matching robe, too...

180katiekrug
des. 9, 2015, 11:59am

>176 scaifea: - Adorable! How big is he?

181jnwelch
des. 9, 2015, 12:26pm

>176 scaifea: That is most excellent!

182cbl_tn
des. 9, 2015, 12:31pm

>176 scaifea: What a cool fellow! He looks like he's ready for adventure!

183lauralkeet
des. 9, 2015, 12:36pm

I love it! What a cool gift.

184johnsimpson
des. 9, 2015, 4:01pm

Hi Amber, Marcus is so cool, you are a very talented lady. Think I may have to invite myself over to yours my dear and you are very welcome over here.

185scaifea
des. 9, 2015, 9:41pm

>180 katiekrug: Katie: Thanks! He's about 16" tall.

>181 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe!

>182 cbl_tn: Thanks, Carrie! Ha! I guess he thinks he's ready for a Wisconsin winter with that scarf, and I don't have the heart to break it to him that those short bibs aren't gonna cut it...

>183 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura!

>184 johnsimpson: Thanks, John - you and Karen are welcome any time!

186scaifea
des. 9, 2015, 9:48pm

590. Nancy Knows by Cybèle Young (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B-

Also Read Today:
-The Littlest Snowman
-We Both Read: My Car Trip
-My First Book of Tractors

187scaifea
des. 10, 2015, 6:30am

On the agenda for today:

Charlie's class is taking their walking field trip to the public library today and his teacher has asked me to walk with them, so I'll be doing that this afternoon. Otherwise it'll be another day in the sewing room working today on those coffee mug pencil holders - the rainbow binding (leftover from what I made for Charlie's quilt) won't match with a couple of the fabrics, so I need to start by making more binding (the original pattern calls for bias tape but I really don't like the way that stuff looks as a binding). I also need to do next week's menu planning and get my grocery list ready for tomorrow, and those Christmas cards are apparently not going to address themselves. Apparently. It's not as if I haven't given them the chance. Gah. Leftovers for dinner tonight.

On the reading front: I listened to another big chunk of Hattie Big Sky while sewing yesterday and while on my way to and from the dentist's office (I have two more small cavities, by the way. Typical. At some point I'll stop having cavities, right?, when all the teeth have fillings?! Sheesh.), and it's a wonderful book. I love it! I also listened to a tiny bit more of The Return of the Native and read a few more chapters in A Time of Changes, which I like just fine while I'm actually reading it, but before picking it up every time I left out a sigh of not-wanting-to. Not sure what that's about.

The calendar book for today: Tenth of December (see what they did there?) by George Saunders. It's apparently a book of short stories and you all know I'm generally not a fan. Anyone read this one? Thoughts?

188msf59
des. 10, 2015, 6:59am

Morning Amber! Sweet Thursday! Looks like another beaut today. Keep 'em coming!

I loved Tenth of December and I really want to read his earlier collections.

Have any good dreams lately? Grins...

189humouress
des. 10, 2015, 7:15am

>187 scaifea: I don't know; those Christmas cards!

I managed to coax the kids through theirs, for them to hand out today. Today was the last day of term, so I took them trampolining after school and treated them to a fast food meal.

Trampolining was supposed to be a class event, since I'm one of the class parents for the year (9 classes, would you believe?) but Google has decided that I'm a spammer - after a whole year of successfully sending out group e-mails - so my mails bounced. No matter; my kids had fun.

As for cavities, two of my fillings are so large and old that the dentist keeps threatening to replace them. But then, he'll have to do a crown. I'm not entirely sure what that entails, but it sounds scary. I'm doing my best to avoid that, so I'm brushing and flossing like crazy. To the extent I'm now wearing away my enamel, so that's causing problems. Can't win. :0/

190scaifea
des. 10, 2015, 9:31am

>188 msf59: Mark: I'm pretty happy about the mild weather today, since I have to be out in it! *grins*
I'm not shocked that you liked Tenth of December - you strike me as a short story kind of guy...

>189 humouress: Nina: Crowns aren't bad - I've got a couple. And I was born with weak enamel, so I feel your pain.
Trampolining sounds fun! Charlie loves that sort of thing.

191bell7
des. 10, 2015, 11:57am

Marcus looks wonderful! Are you planning on making more clothes for him, or is he a one-outfit guy? Says the curious woman who cannot sew a lick...

192scaifea
des. 10, 2015, 12:06pm

>191 bell7: Mary: If I have time, I'll make him some pajamas and robe to match Charlie's. I may make some different clothes, too, eventually.

193thornton37814
des. 10, 2015, 5:52pm

I wish I had your talent with sewing machines. Marcus is quite cute.

194scaifea
des. 10, 2015, 9:08pm

>193 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori!

195scaifea
des. 10, 2015, 9:14pm

591. (182nd non-picture book) Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson (Newbery Honor book, audiobook) - 9/10 = A
A fantastic story, based on a true one, in which a 16-year-old orphan goes out west to Montana during WWI to homestead on a claim left to her by her long-lost uncle. Think Little House with a lot more sass.

592. See Pip Point by David Milgrim (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B
593. The Hueys in None the Number by Oliver Jeffers (Charlie book, picture book) - 9/10 = A

Also Read Today:
-Polly's Christmas Present
-How Many Jelly Beans

196Ameise1
des. 11, 2015, 11:38am

I love Marcus. Well done, Amber.

197scaifea
des. 11, 2015, 11:41am

Ooof, I've been without an internet connection this morning, but the lovely person on the help line fix it right up for me! It's a Good News Day!

I'm off to school soon for my Friday afternoon volunteering, and then after school I'm taking Charlie shopping for Tomm's presents. Green Beans, Smoked Sausage and Potatoes (all cooked together in the same pot) for dinner tonight, I think.

On the reading front: I read a bit more of As You Wish lsat night, which is okay but not great, still. I'll see it through, though, because I still really like all the folks in the movie, including Cary Elwes. And you'll notice that I finished listening to Hattie Big Sky yesterday - at one point, as I was listening while sewing, I have to stop the sewing machine, sit there and weep like a baby. Folks, this is a good one - and a great listen! (Are you paying attention, Mark?)

Hope you're all having a fantastic Friday!

198scaifea
des. 11, 2015, 11:41am

>196 Ameise1: Thanks so much, Barbara! I'm so excited to see what Charlie makes of him.

199msf59
des. 11, 2015, 11:51am

Ooh, Hattie Big Sky. Sounds dreamy. I have taken note.

Happy Friday, Amber!

200scaifea
des. 11, 2015, 11:56am

>199 msf59: I've warbled to The Warbler! Woot!

201aktakukac
des. 11, 2015, 1:41pm

Hi, Amber! I loved Hattie Big Sky too, and now I want to listen to the audiobook. Did you know there's a follow up, called Hattie Ever After? I haven't read it, but it sounds interesting...

Have a nice weekend!

202johnsimpson
des. 11, 2015, 4:22pm

Hi Amber, hope you are having a good Friday my dear.

203Ameise1
des. 12, 2015, 6:56am

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Amber.

204jnwelch
des. 12, 2015, 9:38am

Happy Saturday, Amber! Hope the good times roll at Scaife Manor this weekend.

205scaifea
des. 12, 2015, 10:56am

Morning, all. I'm just now crawling out of bed (and will be going back soon, I think) - that rota-virus got me again yesterday afternoon and I was up most of the night with vomiting and diarrhea. Give me the flu any day over this mess. Gah.

206Ameise1
des. 12, 2015, 11:11am

Oh dear, get well soon.

207MickyFine
des. 12, 2015, 4:00pm

Sorry to hear you've been struck by such a nasty bug. I hope you feel more human soon.

208johnsimpson
des. 12, 2015, 4:06pm

Hi Amber, so sorry to hear you have been struck with the rota-virus, get well soon my dear and we send love and hugs to you.

209laytonwoman3rd
des. 12, 2015, 10:09pm

Hope you sleep soundly tonight, and tomorrow sees you feeling much much better, Amber.

210kidzdoc
Editat: des. 12, 2015, 10:34pm

I'm sorry to hear that you have a bad case of AGE (acute gastroenteritis), Amber. That's a lousy way to spend a weekend. I hope that you're feeling better, and that you have a good day tomorrow.

I've taken care of at least four inpatients over the past two weeks who tested positive for adenovirus, a particularly nasty pathogen which can cause high fevers (104-106 F) for up to two weeks in young kids, vomiting and diarrhea, and upper and lower respiratory illnesses including bronchiolitis and pneumonia. I hope that isn't what you have.

211banjo123
Editat: des. 12, 2015, 10:39pm

Great pictures! I really liked Tenth of December. It's kind of creepy-sad though.

ETA -- sorry about your illness. I suggest rest, chicken soup, and more rest....

212charl08
des. 13, 2015, 1:49am

Oh no! Hope you're on the mend soon.

213PaulCranswick
des. 13, 2015, 3:55am

>205 scaifea: Get well soon, Amber - the group stats need you!

214lauralkeet
des. 13, 2015, 6:41am

Thinking of you, Amber, and hoping you feel better today.

215msf59
des. 13, 2015, 7:48am

Morning Amber! I hope you wake up, feeling much improved. Sending healing vibes from Chicagoland!

216scaifea
des. 13, 2015, 7:58am

Whew! Whelp, I'm glad *that* seems to be over! Friday afternoon my stomach-area started hurting and I started feeling super-nauseous, and it just kept getting worse until Friday night, when everything I'd eaten that day decided to vacate the premises, out both exits and in a hurry. And then the South exit remained busy all night, in about 20 minute intervals. I'm proud of myself that I drank water after every bout, but it only seems to leave me in the next 20-minute session. Yesterday I slept and read in shifts, and then felt sturdy enough to have some chicken noodle soup for dinner. I slept very well last night and I think - after a long hot shower this morning - I'll be mostly back to normal (although I wouldn't say no to a nap this afternoon, likely). It felt just like what happened to Charlie, my parents and me last spring, which at the time we decided was likely the rotavirus business. I'd much rather have the flu, I think, even though that lasts a bit longer - the abdominal pain and nausea that comes with this one is just a nasty business. Charlie and Tomm were The Best, though, and took excellent care of me (Charlie made sure I had water at all times yesterday and a whole stack of books and my old stuffed rabbit, Bunny. At one point he told me that if I needed anything at all that I should just ask, and then proceeded to tell me that he was going to put his headphones on while 'doing some work' on this ipad. *snork!* At any rate, it's over (whew!), and now the worrying begins as I was with a hawk's eye for symptoms in my two favorite Scaife Boys...

Thanks for much to all of you for your thoughts and visits! I don't know what my life would be without such a wonderful support group. I love all of you tons.

>201 aktakukac: Rachel: Oh, I'm glad you loved Hattie, too! She's a character, no? Someone just mentioned that there's a sequel the other day, but now I can't remember who that was. I'll definitely be getting that one, too, though! I'll tell you what: reading through the Newbery winners and now the Honor books has introduced me to so many excellent books and authors - I'm so glad that I'm doing this!

>202 johnsimpson: John: Well, it was good up until about 4pm... Before that Charlie and I went Christmas shopping for Tomm, and I always love that outing. So at least part of Friday was good!

>203 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara! What a gorgeous fireplace! I love the stone. Ours is similar, but I'm afraid not quite that pretty (or tidy - Charlie uses the 'stone bench' as he calls it to stack his art projects).

>204 jnwelch: Joe: Hi, Joe! Well, *something* was rolling round here this weekend, but good times it wasn't. Ha! I appreciate the thought, though!

>206 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara!

>207 MickyFine: Micky: Once I've had a shower this morning (I feel a bit like Pigpen right now), I'm confident that I'll be completely human again. *grins*

>208 johnsimpson: Thanks so much, John. It was nasty but short-lived, at least.

>209 laytonwoman3rd: Linda: You've got the magic touch, Linda, because that's exactly how it happened! A very good night's sleep and I'm feeling much better this morning.

>210 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl. "Acute" is such a friendly-sounding word for what it represents, no? Ha! And those poor wee ones you're looking after! Adenovirus sounds like what Charlie had last year at about this time - he had a high fever for 7=8 days, vomiting and diarrhea, but was better on Christmas morning. We called it our Christmas Miracle. Ha! Poor thing missed several days of school, though, including the last two before break and therefore all of the holiday parties and fun stuff. He was distraught enough that he's already worried this year that he'll get sick and miss it all again. He's a bit of a worrier, this one.

>211 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda! Creepy-sad, eh? Hmmm, I'm interested now...
And I did just as you suggested - lots of rest and some Chicken Soup!

>212 charl08: >213 PaulCranswick: >214 lauralkeet: Charlotte, Paul & Laura: Thanks so much, all - I'm feeling loads better now. I've got that giddy feeling I always get once I first get well after a nasty illness. Woot!

217scaifea
des. 13, 2015, 7:59am

>215 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I am indeed much better!

218scaifea
des. 13, 2015, 8:05am

On the agenda for today:

Well, the bad part of not feeling well, besides the obvious, of course, is that now I have *all* of my weekend chores to do in just one day, plus tidying up the house after a day and a half of it in the hands of The Scaife Men. Apparently I am too zealous in my desire to have things uncluttered... Ha! Anyway, I'll be working on bills, photos, laundry, getting the holiday cards ready to mail tomorrow, with some resting in between for good measure. Dinner will be in Tomm's hands again today, I think, because I suspect I'll be tuckered by then.

On the reading front: The good part about being forced to rest all day is that I get more reading time! I finished The Lost Track of Time (more on that later) and started Entwined, which was pushed into my hands by one of my librarian friends the last time I was at the public library; apparently I'll love it (I do so far, I have to say) and I need to read it toot sweet.

The book calendar weekend quote: "After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world." --Philip Pullman

219lycomayflower
des. 13, 2015, 8:17am

Glad you are feeling better, Amber! Fingers crossed the other members of House Scaife remain unscathed.

220scaifea
des. 13, 2015, 8:36am

>219 lycomayflower: Thanks, Laura - keep those fingers crossed...

221msf59
Editat: des. 13, 2015, 8:45am

Glad the worst is behind you, Amber! Enjoy the day, my friend.

222lauralkeet
des. 13, 2015, 9:01am

Glad you're feeling better today. Take it easy, and slow down if you feel tired. Those chores will still be there tomorrow and one day won't make a difference in the long run. :)

223scaifea
des. 13, 2015, 9:50am

Ooof, I feel SO much better after that ridiculously long shower! *sigh*

>221 msf59: Thanks, Mark!

>222 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura - I've already had on little sit-down rest, so I know I'm definitely going to have to take it slow today. I'm drinking lots of water and forcing myself to go easy (a difficult task, I have to say).

224scaifea
des. 13, 2015, 10:02am

594. (183rd non-picture book) The Lost Track of Time by Paige Britt (book fair purchase, 306 pages) - 8/10 = B-
A neat idea for a story, but disappointing in the execution. A girl is forced to abide by her mother's strict daily schedule when all she really wants to do is daydream and doodle and write stories. She falls into another world full of Clockworkers working in the evil Chronos City and Moodlers-in-hiding. It clearly wants to be another Phantom Tollbooth but falls short of the mark - the writing just isn't there. It's a first novel, though, I think, so maybe Britt will get better as she goes, which would be lovely, since the ideas are good ones.

225humouress
des. 13, 2015, 10:48am

Hi Amber. So glad things are looking up for you now.

226scaifea
des. 13, 2015, 11:25am

>225 humouress: Thanks, Nina!

227laytonwoman3rd
des. 13, 2015, 11:32am

No relapses, now. There's almost nothing that can't wait, and get fitted in over the next couple days. How about that Charlie, looking out for Mom, and "working" on his Ipad. He should be giving lessons to other kids.

228scaifea
des. 13, 2015, 11:36am

>227 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks, Linda. I've been taking frequent breaks today, which is hard for me but I'm managing. And that Charlie is something else, no?

229ronincats
des. 13, 2015, 1:54pm

Very glad you are feeling better, Amber!

230Familyhistorian
des. 13, 2015, 4:11pm

Good to hear that you are feeling better, Amber. Just remember to take it easier today and not stress about the things that don't get done. I find that the only one who knows about what didn't get done on your to do list is usually you.

231The_Hibernator
des. 13, 2015, 7:30pm

Oh! I love Marcus!

232foggidawn
des. 13, 2015, 8:31pm

>218 scaifea: Ooh, I love Entwined! Your librarian friend has good taste.

233scaifea
des. 13, 2015, 9:19pm

>229 ronincats: Thanks, Roni!

>230 Familyhistorian: Meg: I managed to rest plenty *and* get everything done! Woot for me!

>231 The_Hibernator: Thanks, Rachel!

>232 foggidawn: I know, right?! I finished it today and LOVED it! My library friend has *very* good taste - she's one of the pair who pressured me into reading the Queen's Thief books...

234scaifea
Editat: des. 13, 2015, 9:39pm

595. (184th non-picture book) Entwined by Heather Dixon (recommended by my librarian friend, 472 pages) - 10/10 = A
Oooh, I LOVED this one! Such an excellent and inventive re-telling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses tale, and so wonderfully written. I fell right into it and didn't want to climb out. Highly recommended!

596. Millions to Measure by David M. Schwartz (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B

Also Read Today:
-My Little 123 Book
-A Grouch's Christmas
-Spin Me a Storybook: Jingle Bells

235msf59
des. 14, 2015, 7:15am

Morning, Amber! Are you sleeping in?

236jnwelch
des. 14, 2015, 10:04am

>205 scaifea:, >216 scaifea: So sorry the bad times rolled for you over the weekend, Amber. Glad you're on this side of it.

237scaifea
des. 14, 2015, 11:32am

>235 msf59: Mark: I was. Because it's back. Gah.

>236 jnwelch: Joe: Oh, they're still rollin', apparently. Gah.

238scaifea
des. 14, 2015, 11:34am

The nastiness returned full force last night and stayed all night; I was up every 10 minutes rushing to the bathroom (I'm not even kidding - every ten minutes) so I didn't get any sleep until early this morning. Tomm took Charlie to school and I'm forced into another day of taking it easy. I may go crazy. I mean, honestly. I have wrapping to do! And sewing!! Dingdangit!

239bell7
des. 14, 2015, 12:01pm

Oh, so sorry to hear you're still fighting that nasty bug. It's almost stressful to rest when you've got all that stuff you want to do, isn't it? I hope you feel better soon!

240Fourpawz2
des. 14, 2015, 1:09pm

Oh my, Amber - that's a nasty one you've got there. What's up with it apparently 'playing dead' and waiting for you to get all optimistic that the horrid-ness had passed. Is it some kind of sentient, evil bug or something???

241ronincats
des. 14, 2015, 1:53pm

Sorry to hear about the relapse--may it be brief!

242Whisper1
des. 14, 2015, 3:14pm

Lots of messages since I last visited. I'm stopping by to say hello!

>216 scaifea: I hope you are feeling much better!

243johnsimpson
des. 14, 2015, 3:38pm

Hi Amber, so sorry to hear that the horrid bug returned with a vengeance my dear, hope you are feeling a bit better. We both send our love and that you are up and running as soon as possible.

244Familyhistorian
des. 14, 2015, 3:53pm

Hope you get better soon, Amber.

245laytonwoman3rd
des. 14, 2015, 9:37pm

Well, shoot. That isn't good. My husband had a similar bout a couple weeks ago. It didn't give up completely for several days (not to discourage you). He was doing the BRAT diet and laying about with a book....not his style, at all. But eventually it moved on out. And I did NOT get it.

246cbl_tn
des. 14, 2015, 10:20pm

I'm sorry to hear you're still under the weather. Adrian has thrown up several times in the last few days. I'm trying to decide if I need to get him to the vet this week before I leave town for Christmas.

247DeltaQueen50
des. 15, 2015, 1:39am

Oh Amber, how terrible. I sure hope you are able to shake this bug off soon and that it doesn't spread to any other member of the family. Take care of yourself.

248scaifea
des. 15, 2015, 6:35am

Thank you all so much for your sympathetic messages - I think I'm okay, now! (Although Linda's >245 laytonwoman3rd: message scares me slightly...) I sent Tomm to get me Jello, crackers and some Kaopectate, and that, along with alternately sleeping and reading all day yesterday - and sleeping soundly all night - seems to have helped lots. I'm weak as a kitten (in the past few days I've only eaten the afore-mentioned Jello (a few spoonsful), a handful of oyster crackers, two slices of toast and part of a scrambled egg (and tons of water, of course)), but I feel decidedly better this morning - no iffiness in the abdominal area. Here's hoping it sticks. Charlie will be thrilled: apparently Tomm got a litany of ways in which he does things, um, differently, than I do. Ha! And now, let's see if we can't get things Back To Normal...

On the agenda for today:

Present wrapping, with small bits of resting in between (I'll try my best to enforce those on myself). I'll be telling the school librarian that I can't do my normal volunteering this afternoon - I know I'm not strong enough for that yet, plus I don't want to be around the wee ones until I know for certain I'm all the way better. Plus, I got to get this wrapping done!
I also need to swing by the library (to drop off books and pick up a hold) and the post office (to get those holiday cards out) before picking Charlie up from school - here's hoping I'm not completely tuckered by then (I need to keep reminding myself to REST during the day so that I'll have enough energy for the errands!). If I feel like it, then we'll have the Green Beans, Sausage and Potatoes dinner that didn't get made on Friday... (The poor Scaife Men have been scrounging for the past few days, I'm afraid.)

On the reading front: Again, the one good thing about being so sick that you're stuck in bed is the reading in-between naps part - I got lots of the stuff done yesterday (more details to follow later)!

The calendar book for today: Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Rawuel Cepeda. This one sounds pretty interesting - anyone read it? Thoughts?

249scaifea
des. 15, 2015, 7:13am

Well, dingdang. Charlie woke up with vomiting and diarrhea. DINGDANG.

250scaifea
des. 15, 2015, 7:37am

597. (185th non-picture book) A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck (Charlie book,164 pages) - 9/10 = A
A companion to A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way from Home, this one is just as delightful as the first two. Highly recommended.

598. (186th non-picture book) The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems (public library book, 65 pages) - 8/10 = B
Diva is a tiny dog living in a posh apartment building in Paris, and Flea is the stray cat that becomes her best friend. A nice little story, but not Willem's best.

599. (187th non-picture book) The Moon Over High Street by Natalie Babbitt (book fair purchase, 148 pages) - 8/10 = B
A boy goes to stay with his Aunt Myra in small-town Ohio for the summer and finds himself the center of the attentions of the local millionaire.
Meh. S'okay, but it's no Tuck Everlasting.

600. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (Charlie bed-time read, 108 pages) - 8/10 = B+
I *loved* this book when I was a kid, but it hasn't aged super well for me. *shrug*

601. How Many Miles to Bethlehem? by Kevin Crossley-Holland (public library book, picture book) - 8/10 = B
The writing is a little off, but the illustrations are gorgeous. Charlie has been curious about 'the baby Jesus' story lately, so we're loading up on nativity stories lately.

Also Read Yesterday:
-The Magic School Bus Has a Heart (read to us by Charlie)
-Farmyard Tales Christmas
-Funny Faces: Santa Claus

251msf59
Editat: des. 15, 2015, 7:37am



Morning, Amber! Now, Charlie? Oh, my goodness...

252scaifea
des. 15, 2015, 7:58am

>251 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I'm afraid we're swirling down into one of those family illness spirals, where we'll just trade it back and forth... Gah.

253drneutron
des. 15, 2015, 8:39am

Wow, you guys are getting hit hard! Hope the spiral stops soon...

254scaifea
des. 15, 2015, 8:42am

>253 drneutron: Thanks, Jim - me, too!

255jnwelch
des. 15, 2015, 9:00am



Hope you and Charlie both get well soon, Amber.

256scaifea
des. 15, 2015, 9:04am

>255 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe!

257lauralkeet
des. 15, 2015, 9:13am

Ugh, although I'm glad you are feeling better Amber, it's a shame the bug has moved on to Charlie (wait, isn't this a relapse for him too?). Poor Scaifes.

258scaifea
des. 15, 2015, 9:23am

>257 lauralkeet: Laura: I'm not sure that this is what Charlie had the first go-round, honestly. Could be, but he's also exposed to so many different viruses at school, it seems, that it's likely it was something else earlier. Who knows? *sigh*

259scaifea
des. 15, 2015, 3:32pm

En/na scaifea's 2015 challenge - thread #28 ha continuat aquest tema.