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Showing posts from March, 2012

Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

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Through the characters in Poughkeepsie (2011), Debra Anastasia reminds the reader how the smallest act of kindness can make a difference to someone else, and that the bonds of our close relationships are what truly matter.

There's a lot packed into this one novel with homelessness, mental health issues, violence and abuse, and foster care all covered, yet there's also a sense of hope and connection throughout.

Livia, a psychology student who smiles at everyone in the train station during her daily commute from work to school, and Blake, the homeless man who lives for those smiles from Livia, serve as the main focus in the story. There's an entire cast of interesting supporting characters, though, including Blake's (foster) brothers and Livia's sister and their father, and the way they all interact makes the story wonderful.

From the morning scene where Blake and Livia first officially meet in the train station after she defends him from some boys. She suggests …

This and That

How's everything with you?

The past week or so has been one of those times when a lot of little things aren't going very well. No major crisis or problem to resolve, just a lot of little annoyances to get through.

Maya still has a nasty cough from being sick with an upper-respiratory virus last week. We're all feeling a bit foggy from not getting enough sleep for over a week now. My spring allergies are also running wild.

I killed my cell phone on Sunday night. Yes, I'm one of those fools who managed to drop her phone in the toilet. Sigh. We haven't had a home line in a couple of years, so I'm anxiously waiting for my replacement phone to arrive.

The printer/copier/fax machine at work is also down since some point over the weekend. Not my favorite start to the week to arrive to issues without someone even having the basic courtesy to leave a note.

And, yes, life is pretty good when these sorts of issues are the only ones I'm facing!!

Looking ahead…

Happy National Puppy Day!

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Happy 7th National Puppy Day! Here are a few photos of our four-legged family members in honor of this special day.

"You better hurry with the fan club photos because these bows are history in about ten more minutes."

"I claim all of the toys, all of the time, but I will trade for food."

"What do you mean the big bed is for humans?"

"I'm unconditional love in action."

Spring Break Photos--March 16, 2012

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Maya holding Yoda, a ball python. She cried over having to leave him.


Lily the rabbit. Maya had the chance to feed and interact with her.
An iguana, though I can't remember the name Maya gave right now.

Spring Break

No, I'm not actually fortunate enough to be on spring break this week, but Maya is. She's spending her days off from school at Jr. Zookeeper Camp at Lincoln Children's Zoo.

So far, she's having a fantastic experience. She had the chance to pet numerous animals (reindeer, camels, mice, guinea pigs, etc.), played tag, made animal-related crafts, and just had fun being with her group and their teachers.

Maya picked Yoda the python to be the special animal she cares for this week. She gets to hold him (AAK!) and fill his water bowl. Since the camp ends on Friday and Yoda only eats on Saturday, she also gets to help with feeding a rabbit. (I'm a little relieved she doesn't need to feed a live rodent to a snake!)

If Maya's interest continues in either being a veterinarian or a pet groomer, we may send her to the local public school's Science Focus Program, aka the zoo school. Although high school is relatively far away since she's only in second gra…

This and That

Today (March 8) is marked as International Women's Day by the United Nations. The 2012 theme is Empower Rural Women-End Hunger and Poverty.

Good news this week--my mom's physician wants her to try going without her blood pressure medication, which she has taken since her bypass surgery in 2009. Mom's a little nervous, but I'm encouraging her to go ahead.

Maya and I had a great time at her school science fair on Tuesday. We just went to look at the other exhibits because she didn't express an interest in participating until that very day. Her friends had exhibits about our solar system, creating compost, dogs' noses functioning like humans' fingerprints, scented lotions, and more. Maya's already planning for joining in next year, and she's considering a project involving making lip balm.

Travel is on my mind. My Postcrossing friend from Russia is visiting the United States (but nowhere near me, unfortunately), a co-worker is in Puerto Rico, my…

The Vow

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Maya and I went to the movie of her choice, The Vow, yesterday. I went along grudgingly and came away pleasantly surprised.

Leo (Channing Tatum) and Paige (Rachel McAdams) have their lives thrown into a spin after a car accident on a snowy Chicago night. (A good opportunity for me to remind Maya never to take off her seat belt.) When Paige wakens from her medically-induced coma, she has no memory of the previous five years of her life, including everything about her relationship and marriage to Leo. In reality, she's a young sculptor living in the city and very much in love with her husband, who owns a small recording studio. In her mind, she's still a student in law school and engaged to someone else.

There aren't any huge developments in this movie, and the story rests on the really nice chemistry between McAdams and Tatum. I also enjoyed seeing Jessica Lange as Paige's mom and Scott Speedman (I love the t.v. series Felicity) as Paige's ex-fiance. Very ple…

Read Across America Day

March 2, Dr. Seuss' birthday, is the National Education Association's Read Across America Day. Maya's school held a book parade in the morning followed by a stop, drop, and read session in each classroom. Maya and two of her classmates read to Herb, and my mom stayed long enough to see the kids parade through the halls. I had to work.

Children had the option of dressing as a favorite book character. Maya mentioned seeing the Incredible Hulk, Fancy Nancy, Scooby-Doo, and Superman. She went as Cleopatra.

Hope you had a chance to read yesterday!