Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Randomness #412: Garage fish

A neighborhood friend had a leaf fish hanging from their garage door.  It literally looked like a fish caught on a line and I couldn't resist taking a picture or two.

The leaf fish was golden on one side and reddish on the other. It would spin and dance when the breeze caught it.

I thought it was a perfect example of finding joy in the little things.

  • I should dearly love that the world should be ever so little better for my presence. Even on this small stage we have our two sides, and something might be done by throwing all one's weight on the scale of breadth, tolerance, charity, temperance, peace, and kindliness to man and beast. We can't all strike very big blows, and even the little ones count for something.
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Author #166: Rosenthal with sweet cookie advice

Amy Krouse Rosenthal wrote many books but these two impart nuggets of wisdom with beautiful cookie baking illustrations.  From messages about compromise to consideration to listening and unconditionally accepting the cookies of others, her audience can learn to be better people through courtesy and respect.  The examples illustrated in the steps surrounding cookie making and baking echo the lessons in the text. Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer did the beautiful illustrations for both Sugar Cookies and One Smart Cookie  Read more about Ms. Rosenthal at  There's also a cookie recipe at the end of each book.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Randomness #44: Holy 2016 DVD, Batman!

If you were a fan of the Batman tv series (which I saw on a black and white tv) in the sixties you will likely love this animated version of Batman in Return of the Caped Crusaders.  Recommended by a co-worker (thanks!), I laughed aloud in a number of places at the old throw back jokes.  With the voice talents of Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar, one can enjoy a bit of nostalgia in cartoon form with a modern twist on the story (without being too modern!) in this 2016 DVD special.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Author #165: Birtha wrote a picture book to highlight the plight of children with a parent in prison or jail

Far Apart, Close in Heart Being a Family When a Loved One is Incarcerated by Becky Birtha and illustrated by Maja Kastelic is a timely picture book that should be read to almost all children whether they have a loved one in jail or prison or not.  The book explores some of the feelings of children and the relationship they have with their loved one and others.Children are often shunned by their peers for something a parent did and then the child is left isolated and marginalized.  The child also has a number of feelings that can be difficult to both feel and express ranging from anger to embarrassment to guilt and sadness.  This book does a good job at introducing the subject and helping give voice to the more than 2 million children with a parent in jail or prison.  See more of Ms, Birtha's books at:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Author #164: Boelts maneuvers around a moral dilemma involving money and bikes

Maribeth Boelts tells the story of A Bike Like Sergio's with illustrations by Noah Z. Jones.  Ruben wants a bike like his friend, Sergio.  When he finds some money he thinks he will finally get the bike of his dreams.  But when he gets to feels empathy for the person who lost the money he has a change of heart.  Doing the right thing sometimes hurts but can also help us to ultimately feel better about ourselves when we try to understand and help others.  This story does not necessarily have a typical happy ending but I found it satisfying and morally uplifting.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Author #163: Ruurs Stepping Stones: a Refugee Family's Journey

Stepping Stones A Refugee Family's Journey by Margriet Ruurs with artwork by Nizar Ali Badr in both English and Arabic.  A beautiful book with elaborate rock artwork.  Read more about Ms. Ruurs and her other books at:   See more of the artwork of Mr. Badr at:

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Randomness #344 : Inconsistencies Pop Up Again!

* I bought a 32 pack of Hostess twinkies and cupcakes from Costco-something I buy every few years or so.  By day 2 there were only 9 of the 16 cupcakes left.  I had eaten 1, Daisy replied "What cupcakes?",  Mica said "I may have eaten 2...maybe 3.  There's still the twinkies left!"  About 10 minutes later Hedgehog comes upstairs and upon questioning her she responses with the following: "I had 2, maybe 3 and then blurts out, but there are the twinkies!"  With almost identical answers you'd think they were sisters.  So what's the obsession with the cupcakes versus the untouched twinkies?!?

*Me to Hedgehog when I had bought a large piece of fresh ginger: "The way you (hedgehog) are sniffing that raw ginger is just indecent!"
*Mica: "I stayed home from FHE (Family Home Evening with her singles ward) to read about coffee!"  (Coffee is discouraged in LDS teachings. Her reading was for a plant class.)

*Daisy, looking very proud of herself, "I had extra energy so I decided to brush my hair!" And then in true movie star style she pretended she was fluffing imaginary curls in her hair.

-Hedgehog about a former math teacher's presentation of the lesson material: "The teacher would turn off the lights for the presentation and she had a soft, soothing voice.  I usually got put in the back of the classroom so it was quite the struggle (to stay awake!).

-Mica: "Answering physics questions online is like slots.  You're like, 'let it be the right one...come on..., come on..., Yes! when it's the right answer and grumbling when it's not and you have to try again."

*Comments from Hedgehog from a past class about herself and another ginger student and the teacher using examples to make points about slavery: "Myself and the other ginger would be the slaves because we would stick out in a crowd.  If we had a baby it's hair would be the perfect color.  She (the teacher) would take the children with that perfect ginger hair color (for slavery)."

*Daisy commenting after swimming a few laps with me: "I have insect legs." "What?!?"  "I have insect legs-you know, they are thin and stick-like, insect legs!"

-Mica upon pressure from a religious activity to encourage more dating: "For the dating box I could just say I'm already in a relationship.  I just wouldn't say with what or whom."  She continued with this statement: "Right now I want to be in a relationship with more sleep."

*Daisy upon getting a Herbst appliance as part of her braces treatment: "It's like the chamber of secrets in here with all the twists and turns and corners."

(DISCLAIMER: Many of these instances happened in the past-for example, Daisy brushes her hair now with daily regularity and the teacher events are definitely in the past.  But some things are likely not to change.  Hedgehog would probably still be happy sniffing ginger.  I sometimes wonder if she buys exotic spices and teas just because she likes the scents. And answering homework questions online is still a dicey business sometimes.)

Sunday Randomness #412: Garage fish

A neighborhood friend had a leaf fish hanging from their garage door.  It literally looked like a fish caught on a line and I couldn'...