Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we're going to have a mini-feast before Corey has to go to work, but this year we have 2 last minute guests: my dad, who is alone because my mom is still in Connecticut, and my nephew, who is coming off the Air Force base to spend his first Thanksgiving in Arizona with us! It's a Thanksgiving miracle.

Last night I started watching Home for the Holidays. It's one of my favorite movies and my own Thanksgiving tradition. My other Thanksgiving tradition is feeding my friends' cats (their Thanksgiving tradition is going to Disneyland!). I'll be over after the gorging ends.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

I found this book for a bargain at Barnes and Noble and liked the description so in the cart and on the shelf it went. It didn't stay on the shelf as long as most of my books because I quickly realized this is the book the new t.v. series is based on.

Three witches, a mom and her two daughters, are trying to live the life of normal women because they have been banned from using magic. Without telling each other they each have a little slip up. One of the sisters, Freya, makes a special drink while bartending to help out a patron. The other sister, Ingrid, uses a simple spell to help a friend get pregnant. The mom, Joanna, delights a little boy by animating his toys. It's a slippery slope from there.

An easy and fun story to read, Witches of East End left me anticipating the next in the series, Serpent's Kiss.

No shocker, the t.v. show is a lot different from the book but there are some similarities. I like the t.v. show but...the book is better.

P.S. This is the first book I read this year for the Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

beastie boys + girl power = awesomeness

One of the teachers emailed this to me today at school. Love.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish

Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral begins with Annie's ashes being delivered to her oldest friend with a request that she spread her ashes in specific places around the country with four of Annie's closest friends. They clear their schedules and get on a plane, leading them to self-discovery, friendship, clarity, and closure. As a bonus, they all wear red Converse the whole time.

"Annie didn't have many rules for the traveling funeral but we know for sure she wanted us to celebrate her life more than to mourn the loss of it..."

Lately I've been trying not to read sappy books where a character dies because - SURPRISE! - they can really get me down. It was nice for a change to read one that was uplifting instead. If you don't like books where everything is wrapped up a little too nicely at the end you won't like it, but if you're looking for something fun and a little thought provoking this is for you.

P.S. This book counts as my Book With a Party or Celebration in the Title for the What's In a Name Challenge.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day!

My dad is a Vietnam War vet, and I have many other veterans in my family as well. I am so thankful for their service to our nation. I love you Dad!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant

Last year I read Wallace by Jim Gorant and loved it. Since it was one of my favorite books of the year I knew that I had to read The Lost Dogs too.

My concern before starting was that the stories of how Michael Vick and his friends tortured and mistreated the pit bulls they used for dog fighting would be too much to stomach. Although there are some horrific details about what some of the dogs went through, it is mostly presented in a manner of what evidence the police were able to collect. In addition, the main focus of the story is not on what a horrible human Michael Vick is, but on how the amazing dogs rescued from his home were rehabilitated. In fact, Vick is not mentioned much at all after the first chapters.

I knew from watching shows like The Dog Whisperer and Pit Boss, reading books like Wallace, and meeting many sweet and gentle pit bulls throughout my life that these are dogs with an undeserved bad reputation. This book solidifies that line of thinking. I was surprised when the author shared that in a litter of 12 pit bull puppies you would be lucky if you could train one to be a fighter because it works against years of evolving as pack animals. Even though their purpose was fighting, the dogs taken from Vick did not need to be rehabilitated because they were aggressive; they needed to be socialized and trained to live in a house with a family.

The story follows the dogs from rescue to rehabilitation, but we also get to meet the army of people who work to help dogs like Vick's every day. Difficult to read at times, this book left me with a good feeling knowing that for every bottom feeder like Vick in the world there are 100 good ones.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, my vicious pit bull friends:

Obi (may he rest in peace)

and Emma. You can stop being scared now.

P.S. This book counts as my Book With Lost or Found in the Title for the What's In a Name Challenge.

P.P.S. I hope the Packers break a sack record today!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Each year after I teach my class about bats and how special they are we adopt a Mexican free-tailed bat from Carlsbad Caverns. However, when I went to do it this year I couldn't because of the government shut down. Now that the boys and girls in Washington are done having their temper tantrums I can move forward with my lesson.

Last year my class named our bat Shadow Ninja which I thought was pretty cool. I wonder what they'll pick this year?

P.S. Portrait with Pet Bat is by Emily Martin.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Today our Palo Verde in the backyard got a trim. It feels a little naked out there but it looks nice.

P.S. Subject to change is by Maggie Taylor.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Today on my way home from school I saw 3 people riding horseback on the side of the road. I love South Phoenix because it has a bit of farm and ranch left and gives me a taste of home. It's not uncommon to see people riding horses next to a busy street. However, it's still funny to me to see people riding around in the 6th largest city in the United States!

P.S. I found this horse on the Steward.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Today I went to my favorite library downtown, which at one time we could see from our living room window but now is about 20 minutes from our house. I bought Ranch Schoolteacher by Eulalia Bourne for $2, checked out I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll, Wolf! by Becky Bloom, and Nightsong by Ari Berk for my class, and I made a new friend. I love the library!

P.S. i love the library is by elloh.

Monday, November 4, 2013


It's Fall Colors Week at Poppytalk, which inspires me to share cute things I've found on the internet.

When it comes to golden, I don't know anyone cuter and more golden than C3PO. Not the Droid is by Laura Kate. If you go to her blog you can download C3PO and your other favorites for free to use in your Project Life scrapbook. I also recommend checking out her Project Life pages.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

quote of the week

From a little boy:

I want to be a watermelon when I grow up!!!

P.S. This illustration came from An Awesome Book by Dallas Clayton.

There are place in the world

where people do not dream...

of rocket powered unicorns

and candy cane machines

of magic watermelon boats

and musical baboons

or teeny tiny trumpet players training pet raccoons.