Monday, January 31, 2011

Baby Mouse

Matt Holm was sharing his talents and creating magic with a little mouse: Baby Mouse.

He drew pictures for the kids, having them help him come up with ideas. The kids loved it - almost as much as me. I enjoyed seeing the kids all get so excited to use their imagination and then watch it come to life with Matt's Magic Art!

It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Baby Mouse is a Graphic Novel for kids and if you have a little one, and even if you don't, you should go to the Green Bean Bookstore and check it out. I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


So, what's a cootie? Maybe some of you remember ('cuz I sure do) this song:

I woke up Sunday morning
And there upon the wall
The cooties and the bedbugs
Were having a game of ball

The score was six to nothing
The cooties were ahead
The bedbugs hit a homerun
And knocked me out of bed!

Friday, January 28, 2011


My sis and I are going to be running in the Shamrock run on St. Paddy's weekend - March 13th. We're hoping to do the 15k or 9.3 miles. It will be the longest run I've ever ran--if I make it. And, I've been training hard for this. But, I also want it to be fun. Sew...I've been making some real running gear...

what I'm talking about is tu-tu(s) for us to wear, along with green tights and who knows what else. I'm not implying that we're going to be as graceful as ballerinas. Of course there's no hope of any mix-ups on that level.

So, how'd I do it? I went to the fabric store and bought some green mesh and ribbon, then I sewed the netting to the ribbon, and wah-lah, tu-tus for me and Tammy :)

If you want to see how they turned out, and see how we look in them, you'll have to come back around March 13...and keep your fingers X'd that I make it the entire way.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good News

Congratulations to the finalists for the Oregon Book
Awards! (Thanks to Suz Blackaby for the list)


Dale E. Basye of Portland, Rapacia:The Second Circle of Heck (Random House)
Dawn Babb Prochovnic of Portland, The Nest Where I Like to Rest (Magic
Graham Salisbury of Lake Oswego, Calvin Coconut: The Zippy Fix (Wendy Lamb
Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen of Hines A Small Brown Dog with a Wet Pink Nose
(Little Brown and Company)
Barbara Kerley of Portland, The Extraordinary Mark Twain (Scholastic Press)


Scott William Carter of Salem, The Last Great Getaway of the Water Balloon
Boys (Simon and Schuster)
Kerry Cohen Hoffman of Portland, It's Not You, It's Me (Random House)
Anne Osterlund of Ione, Academy 7 (Penguin Group)
L.K. Madigan of Portland, Flash Burnout (Houghton Mifflin)
Emily Whitman of Portland, Radiant Darkness (Greenwillow/Harper Collins)

AND three cheers for Barb Liles, who snagged Edna L. Holmes Fellowship in
Young Readers Literature.

Hip! Hip!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's On Your Wall Wednesday - Framing

My husband's uncle sends us pieces of art every now-n-then. My husband frames the art and we hang it on the wall. It's beautiful.

How 'bout you, what's on your wall Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I love making crafts, especially if I can give them away and what better way than Valentine's Day?

The Danes use these paper hearts at Christmas, to put on the tree and fill with cookies but I like to use them as Valentine's for friends. I fill them with bath salts, bath beads and candles. It's a fun little thing to give friends.

Here's how you do it. I make both felt hearts and paper hearts, just depending on the look I want. Then I embellish them with fur, stones and buttons or anything I have laying around the house.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Undead Series

Okay, I've always been a fanpire ever since the early days with Dracula but then when Stephen King wrote Salem's Lot, I was really hooked. I've read lots of books and the Twilight series had to join that list. Then there was the TrueBlood line-up and I've just finished the Undead series.

I loved Mary Janice Davidson's wit and humor. I'd be laughing while I was reading and my husband would say, "Isn't that a vampire book?"

I'd say, "Yeah, but it's funny."

He'd look at me like I'd finally lost my mind.

Anyway, I've read 9 or 10 of the books (all 9 in the series plus one little spin-off werewolf 'tail' :) in the Undead series. The last one, though, Undead and Unfinished (HERE'S A SPOILER ALERT)


definitely my least favorite. It had it's moments but the ending... I did not like that. Maybe because I've been happily married for so many years (yeah 27, count 'em - that's a lot of years) and we've had our moments of anger and arguments (of course, anyone who's been married more than a year has), but we've always "made up". So................I didn't like that ending. In fact I didn't like it so much, I doubt I would buy another book in the series...but you never know. I might want to find out what could have caused such a flip in Betsy's paranormal dimension but...maybe not.

I mean I can handle the shallow silliness, the shoes, the 'sucky' parts of the story but when you murder your own husband...I have to draw the line somewhere...right?

And, then, when she skins him and uses his (un)dead body to make a book (literally), I don't know call me just didn't seem right to do those sorts of things to your most loved one. And no wonder she went a little crazy whenever she read from that hardback - after all it was her husband's.

Anyone else read the series? What were your thoughts?

Anyway that was a disappointment :(

Friday, January 21, 2011

Junk to Funk

Recycling can be more fun than you think. Just check out this Trashion Edutainment Event on February 5th.

Saturday February 5th
Boothster: 521 NE Davis
Gallery Open 7-11
Suggested Donation: $10-50
All Ages

It's a trashformation - yep, just what it sounds like. A mixture of fashion and trash combined creatively to become clothing. What better way to repurpose material than to turn it into wearable art?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I read Mockingjay in one day. I couldn't put it down.


I was so team Gale. I mean all those years together, the loyalty, the friendship, the hunting and talking, it just seemed to me that she'd end up with Gale. But that's just me. People obviously need a spark to stay together but . . . I wanted Gale to be the winner. And, I felt that he ended up such a loser. Heartless, or at least cold, creating bombs meant to take out caregivers...and Prim, ahhhhhhh.

Of course, I'd figured out (like everyone else) that Coin was the bad one...or two. I mean sure President Snow and The Capitol were bad but not any worse than Coin.

I really loved the ending, though. It wasn't all perfect and Hollywood usually makes it but there was enough to make me feel some hope for the future of Panem.

How 'bout you? What did you think of the trilogy? Now, I just can't wait for the movies. It's going to be a girls' day out...for sure.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Catching Fire

I've started the trilogy and can't seem to put those books down. I loved The Hunger Games even though I never expected myself to really like it. I just never read apocalyptic stories. But, this was a great story. And then Catching Fire was good but definitely a sequel. I hated the ending. The only redeeming fact was that Mockingjay was already out and I could buy it in a heartbeat on my Kindle.

And, one thing I miss with the Kindle: covers.

Book covers. I love looking at them. The beautiful art, the colors. My Kindle is black and white. So, like I said, I do miss the book covers.

Anyway, I've nearly completed Mockingjay - in about one day.

I still didn't like the way the second book left me hanging. I felt sort of played. And, that's without having to wait to get the third book in the series.

I don't know maybe that's just me. After all, I read Catching Fire in one day.

How 'bout you? Have you read the series? What did you think about the way Catching Fire ended?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Writing v. Running

Writing is a lot like running. They’re both a lot of hard work.

Running: I have to self-motivate myself to get out there and put one foot after the other and I can't let myself stop when I'm tired. I have to work at doing a little more every day--if I want to improve.

It’s the same with writing. I have to sit down and put the pen to the paper – or (more truthfully) my fingers to the keyboard.

It’s so easy to find excuses not to do it. It being running and/or writing. It's a simple thing to stay home and curl up with a good book or turn on the tube to watch a movie but instead I strap on my running shoes and get outside (in that good old—cold--Portland rain) to climb those hills, run those miles, and prepare for the upcoming race.

Writing: I have to walk away from reading that book, turn off the t.v., and sit down at the computer, if I want to get my own words down on the page and not just read the ones someone else has written.

Writing and Running: You have to put in time, energy and work, if you want to improve.

Running: I can’t just go outside and expect to run a marathon…of course I can work toward it. Improving my pace, endurance and cardiovascular ability, come with time, exercise, and strength. And I am working hard to get stronger--a little more every day.

Writing: I can’t expect to write the next great novel – not without putting in time, energy, and effort to perfect my craft. And, I have to work at dialogue, character development, tense, pacing, and plot.

Both, Running and Writing: are a lot of hard work. But, they are also fun, rewarding and energizing.

I love to feel the light drizzle on a cool day as I make it to the top of a hill I haven’t been able to climb before. And, I want to do a little dance with every chapter I finish.

Mom always used to tell me, “Anything worth having, is worth working for.”

I'm working at them both: Writing and Running.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Day - 1.15.29 to 4.4.68

My favorite show of all time is It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart.

What does that have to do with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?

Well the entire premise of that old movie is that one person can make a huge difference in the world and impact the course of history simply by doing the right thing.

Today we celebrate more than a man, we celebrate an entire movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. was so many things. He was more than a Reverend or a Doctor, he was a brilliant, well-educated man who was also an eloquent writer and one of the only nonviolent activists I remember living in my lifetime. He made a huge impact on the world while preaching that people can make a difference without violence in the world. He was only 35 years-old when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and donated his prize (more than $54,000) to the civil rights movement during a tumultuous time in the world.

"...I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." (excerpt of Letter from Birmingham Jail)

He lived in a volatile world. This was the era when Robert Kennedy was assassinated and John F. Kennedy. But, still he stood up for what he believed in.

He was in Memphis, Tennessee in support of striking garbage workers when he was assassinated, standing on the balcony of his hotel room.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Progress on the DIE...t Front

I weighed in on Sunday and had lost 4 pounds!!! in one week. Of course last week I'd gained 3.6 pounds, so really it had to be a lot of sodium that caused the gain/loss, so quickly. The net result was really only 4 ounces lost, in a two week period. Much more acceptable from a health standard point-of-view. But I'm just glad to be back on the right track.

Weight Watchers has been keeping me on track(ing). ;)

I ran 7.5 miles straight on Saturday, that couldn't have hurt my weight loss program. But then I had to have a little chocolate, finish off some candy canes that were still sitting around the house, and have a few Valentine candies (which are now sitting around the house-and, yes, they are already in the stores). You know growing up in a family with nine kids, I learned not to let anything go to waste.

Mom never threw anything away. Somehow she always found a way to use everything. Waste not-want not was a favorite saying of hers. So instead, of throwing it away, (it being those candy canes) or letting it go to waste. . . it still goes to waist (mine) :(

It's soooooooooooooooooooooooooo hard for me to lose weight because I love food so much.

How 'bout you? Are you having trouble with a few extra pounds put on during the holidays?

Friday, January 14, 2011


My old garden furniture rotted and fell apart. It was partly my fault for not covering it but it was really the Portland, Oregon weather that I blame: wet, wetter and wettest year I remember. That type of weather is really only suited for DUCKS! And, it might have been a good year for those quack-attacks but my garden chairs didn't fair so well. You see, water soaked wood has trouble surviving. But, lucky for me, I have a husband who loves working with his hands whenever he can get out from behind that desk he works behind all day.

And, it's so nice to have a handy guy around the house. Plus, we both love to go to Rebuilders to pick up old wood that would have been thrown away if it wasn't recycled. Then Lars sands it, and goes to work repurposing that old lumber.

Look at one piece of his handiwork.

Do you ever repurpose old items? Tell me about it in the "comments" section. I'd love to "read all about it" :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


And, I'm not taking about shooting decoys. Nope, I'm talking about crafting. We writers craft with words but some people use other mediums, like clay.

Don't you just love to roll words around in your mouth and then put pen to paper and create. Well, you might want to take out some dough and/or clay and cut it and mold it. Shaping a little blob into something is so much fun. If you haven't done it for a while, pull out a package and play.

It's good for the creative juices.

My daughter has made about ten little birds, Penguins. Here's a couple that might help inspire us writers in more ways than one.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

PROPHECY by Ellen Oh

Ellen Oh, better known to her blueboarder and blogging buddies as ELLO is the author of the newly acquired and, what I am sure will be, the wildly successful Dragon King Chronicles, which will be Books for Young and “more mature” Adults.

The only disappointing news I have to share is that this novel isn’t scheduled to come out until the Summer of 2012 and then only the first of three of her books will be available: The Prophecy. And if you’re looking for strong female role models or characters you should be waiting with bated breath for this book.

PROPHECY is about Kira Kang, the only female warrior of the Saulabi Army and a bona fide demon slayer”

Tell me that doesn’t whet your whistle for more—I’m only surprised it took so long to get published. And, I’m hoping Ellen will tell us all about her writing journey and how she felt when she knew she’d finally made it.

But first, a little bit about my blogging buddy:

Ello, as I’ve come to know her, grew up in NYC and moved down to the Washington, DC area to attend law school at Georgetown University. There she met her future husband who convinced her to stay and now she has 3 smart, funny, beautiful girls who keep her on her toes. They, along with her parents and her sister, are the nucleus of the awesome support she needed to become a writer.

But, I have a few questions I want to ask, so sit back, grab a cup of coffee and listen or “read all about it”.

What inspired you to create such a strong female character in The Prophecy:

Growing up my Dad always told me that I should never let anyone put me down or tell me I couldn't do something just because I was a girl. He said being strong isn't just about physical strength, it was about being strong mentally, spiritually, and being smart. He taught me to be tough, maybe a little too tough. I was always fighting, always in trouble. My parents used to joke and call me Xena, Warrior Princess. Of course it didn't help that I had nearly the same hairdo at the time. So it wouldn't be a surprise that I would write a strong female character. How could I not?

Where any of her characteristics derived from your own strong will to overcome obstacles (of course I’m sure you’re not fighting demons—maybe just slow tourists when they come to your town)?

Absolutely. Kira is reviled in Prophecy for being different. She looks different and she has a very unique talent. She can smell demons. Being perceived as different is clearly something I can relate to. I grew up dealing with a lot of racism. It's funny because I grew up in NYC where there are a lot of different minorities and cultures. You would think it would be more tolerant but instead the racism was in your face. Very different from where I live now, where I find that racism to be more covert and subtle. Racism can insidiously strip away a person's self worth. I had to fight that all my life and learn to appreciate and respect who I was despite the racial slurs and terrible acts of prejudice.

How did you ever come up with such a setting for your story?

I studied a lot about ancient Korea and found it fascinating so I knew that I wanted it to be the backdrop of my book. And also to weave in Korean myths and legends.

Can you tell us anything about the next two books?

It's a surprise!

Do you hope teenage girls will be inspired to become stronger (again not fighting demons) because of your book and more willing to face challenges in life?

I know that part of why I wrote this book was because I have 3 girls myself and I want them to know that girls can do anything that boys can do, and do it better. An important theme of my book is the idea that nothing is impossible. There are always naysayers in life, but we can't let them put us down. Don't believe the words of other people, only believe in yourself and what you can achieve if you set your mind to it.

Can you tell us about your writing journey?

It was long and boring and at times very treacherous. But I made it!

Were there any challenges you faced in the publishing arena?

I talked about this in my LIfe is Good post. How I had so many people tell me that no one would be interested in a book about ancient Korea. In fact, I remember being in a writing class and this one male writer began to harangue me about how no one would ever publish my book because it was too oriental for western sensibilities. Bad enough he used the term "oriental" which I dislike, but he publicly mocked me for wasting my time and not understanding the American marketplace. I wish I still knew him only so I could rub this in his face. Yeah, I don't turn the other cheek very well... I admit to wanting to go up to him and say "How do you like me now?"

What advice would you want to give to budding writers?

If you truly believe in your story, then don't give up. But make sure you truly believe in it. Prophecy was my third book. My other 2 books may never see the light of day for good reason. I knew I had to put them away. It would have been a waste of my time to keep working on them. That recognition of when to put something away and when to continue to fight for it, is important as a writer. When I wrote Prophecy, I knew it was different. Here was something I really believed in. That I was willing to fight for. I never gave up on it because I knew it had great potential. I'm really blessed to have found both an agent and an editor who saw that same potential and loved my book as much as I did.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Twilight casting director Lana Veeneker is putting on a webinar for anyone out there that wants to transform their lives. She says you can go from being a Fan to being Fabulous!

Here's a little more about the webinar:

"Shapeshift Your Life in 2011"

Here's what she has to say:

"Has The Twilight Saga inspired you to follow your own dreams? Did it ignite in you the desire to transform your life? Are you ready to step into a bigger version of yourself in 2011?

Learn how to unlock your hidden potential by working directly with Lana Veenker, one of the casting directors of Twilight, who has helped countless actors realize their goals and is now setting out to help others do the same.

Lana has developed an online workshop to teach everyday people how to accomplish extraordinary things. In just three sessions, you will learn how to:

* Choose and set goals
* Identify and overcome obstacles
* Define your true calling
* Attract the resources and people who can help you realize your dreams
* Apply the four keys to achieving your goals
* Discover insider shortcuts to success
* Re-craft your self-image
* Identify your unique value proposition
* Multiply your creative power
* Plan for long-term success

This online workshop, presented in English, will allow Twilight fans from around the world to take advantage of this exciting and unique opportunity.

Price and dates of the workshop are to be determined. For now, we are gauging interest, so that we can offer you the best possible experience.

Are you ready to shapeshift your life?"

She has a short survey she'd like to have you fill out but you need to do it quickly. Once the details are set in stone, you'll be given the opportunity to register.

If you're interested in attending a live workshop in Portland, Oregon, let her know! There may be an opportunity to work with Lana in person on your goals for 2011.

She'd love to hear from you!

So check out the Survey here. It's never too late to be what you might have been. George Eliot

Monday, January 10, 2011

Team Peeta or Team Gale?

The Hunger Games

I thought it was a great book. I know it's been a hot read for everyone but it took a while to work it's way to the top of my TBR list.

WOW! That's all I can say.

And if you've read about Katniss, Prim, Peeta and Gale, which team are you on?

Team Peeta


Team Gale

It's a tough choice for me. Like between Chocolate Ice cream or Coffee Almond Fudge. They are both yummilicious in their own way. I think I'd have to say I choose...


Okay, I know you're not supposed to be able to have your cake and eat it too. But, I say throw caution to the wind. Have both and enjoy for them for their distinctive differences;)

No, not really. But, it's a super tough choice. I guess I'll just have to move on to Catching Fire and then MockingJay.

So, if you've read the book(s), which team are you: Team Gale or Team Peeta?

Friday, January 7, 2011


I gained 3.6 pounds from Christmas to New Year's. I was running and trying to watch what I ate. I guess I wasn't watching it well enough, OR maybe too well, at least when it went from the table to my fork and straight into my mouth.

But, I'm trying not to beat myself up about it---too much. It's hard during the holidays to stay on I'm working on it though and I hope I'll have better news next week.

How 'bout you, did you gain any weight over the past week of festivities? You know, misery loves a little company :(

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pigeons Galore

I know a lot of people who raise birds in the city. A lot of people have chickens so they can gather organic eggs. But, I also know some people who raise pigeons.

Aren't these birds beauties?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Veritable Smorgasbord

A Veritable Smorgasbord is a typical Danish meal. And, we celebrated over the holiday with a family feast. (Smørrebord in Danish)

We ate so much I gained over 3 and 1/2 pounds in one week. And believe me, it was easy to do. Just check out the spread on this table.

I tried to be selective while picking out my favorite Danish sandwiches, which always happen to be open-faced - at least in the true form of the feast. But, like I said, it wasn't so good for my die...t. :(

Friday I'll be talking about my roller coaster ride with my weight.

How 'bout you - any eating challenges you were able to overcome during the holidays?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Carrying a Little France Around With You

Cats 2011

On New Year's Day we celebrated with a little music from an old favorite.

Lars and Mackenzie played a piece together and we sat around and listened while they shared their sheet music.

How did you ring in the New Year?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Movie Review - Opal Dream

Opal Dream is an Australian film, so if you like foreign films, you might like this-especially since you won't need to read subtitles. This is slow in the beginning, but the story builds and in the end it's all worth it. Not your typical Hollywood film - in some ways.

It's based on the book Pobbe and Dingan. A story about a little girl's imaginary friends who end up causing a lot of trouble for her family - especially her father.

I really enjoyed it and think you will too. So, rent it and let me know what you think.