Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Go Jags!

Last week Ashley, Charlene and I took four of our friends from Trinity Gardens to a Lady Jags basketball game at the Mitchell Center. All three of us adults are alumni, so we sat there like old people and remembered "those good ole college days." KiKi, Maya, Bria and Priscilla were not sure what to make of our silliness and laughter, but I think they enjoyed getting to go to the game too. Southpaw, who was really the most outgoing Jaguar I have ever met, even came to take a picture with us. It really was fun, and USA beat Troy, Ha! My only regrets were that I had only enough cash for a bottle of water and not one of those huge yummy soft pretzels with pebble-sized grains of salt and spicy mustard on it, and that I didn't get a free t-shirt. (We did get a free car wash, which is always useful.) It was also fun to see the huge picture on the Mitchell Center wall of a ton of us old students (including some down from Troy for a visit) at a game years ago. Made me feel young again.

The baring of my soul, and telling of my most appalling secrets


I have trouble with piles. Especially paper and book piles. Here is my bedside table. It is more like a homeless shelter for various publications. It is terrible. You can all shake your heads ruefully and sigh with me.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Hodgepodge's Children's Book Selections of the Month

I am a bibliophile. I love books. I wish I could read as much as I used to, but one of my joys is passing on this love of reading to my children. One of our favorite things is our monthly trip to the library, where we can pick and choose wonderful children's books to take home and enjoy. We end up meeting so many fun characters, and learning so many new things that we often re-check out our favorites, or buy them somewhere so we can keep them at our house permanently. I have a far-fetched dream of owning a children's book store, and a more realistic dream of getting my Masters in Library Science and becoming a children's librarian. So I thought I would start sharing some of my favorite books, so those of you with children can enjoy them too. Snuggle up with your babies and read till you're hoarse!

My first selection is Mole and the Baby Bird by Marjorie Newman, illustrated by Patrick Benson. It is the story of a little mole who finds a wild bird and wants to keep it as a pet. He learns how loving something means letting go, a cliche, but true. This story is precious, with detailed illustrations and simple text. I really almost cry when I read it- it is so poignant somehow. This is one of our re-check out favorites.

My second selection is BooBoo by Olivier Dunrea. This is the tale of a little blue gosling who likes to eat. My children love BooBoo, especially when she swallows a bubble and burps and burps. Dunrea has a whole series of books about little goslings (Gossie, Gertie, Peedie) several of which we own and love and reread often.

(If the links don't work, just go to and search. I just wanted to let you see the covers of the books.)

Winter Poems

I meant to share a Christmas poem nearer to Christmas, and then I found a collection of winter poems, so I have put some here for your enjoyment. I hope you too, like the shepherd, are pierced by the beauty you see around you- how it stirs your soul. And if you say "what beauty around me?" look, as Sara Teasdale did, and " you will find it, it is not far..."


Stars over snow,
And in the west a planet
Swinging below a star-
Look for a lovely thing and you will find it,
It is not far-
It never will be far.

--Sara Teasdale

I Heard a Bird Sing

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember:
"We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,"
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

--Oliver Herford

The Sheep Herd

I am a shepherd- I have hated
The smell of damp sheep in the rain,
The pain
Of clouted shoes on weary feet,
The silly barking of watchdogs in the night,
The blinding light
Of summer suns on hillsides without shade.
Nor anything I did not wish was not
From hoar-frost on the meadow grass
To dizzy stars that blinked on stupidly and bright.

Last night
I went with other men who tended sheep
Over to Bethlehem to see-
We did not know just what we'd come to see
Who'd followed up a cloud of singing wings.
Until we came to where a young girl held
A little baby on her lap and smiled.

She made me think of flowers,
White flowers on long stems and blue night skies.
Nothing happened-
But today
I have been shaken with the joy
Of seeing hoar-frost wings
Atilt upon tall grasses; the sun
Upon the sheep, making their gray backs white
And silvery
Has hurt me with its beauty, and I heard
The sound of the barking watchdogs break
The tolling bells against the quiet hills.

--Sister Mariella


That post entitled "We wish you a Mackie Christmas" is supposed to be a video. I've tried to get it to repost, but I guess it is too big of a file, or something. I will keep trying because it is hilarious.