Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

In September 1897, Francis Pharcellus Church, a former Civil War correspondent and editor at the New York Sun, received a letter from the then 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon. It bears repeating all these years later.
Original article
Dear Editor,
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in the Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon

115 West Ninety-Fifth Street


Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been
affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world
are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times te
n thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading and asks you to :
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3 . Share 2 "teaser" sentences also citing the title of the book and the author and in that way people can have great recommendations if they like the "teaser".
4. Please avoid spoilers!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I won this book last year from The Shady Glade and I love it! The illustrations are half the fun and since I can't show them all here you'll just have to go get this book for yourself. It's so entertaining I had to include two teasers for your enjoyment. Happy holidays!

~page 26
Selecting a Tree -

Another alternative is to invest in a plastic tree, which can be stored during the year and, at holiday time, assembled in minutes. Though quite expensive initially ($65.00 and up) a plastic tree will last many years and can be passed on to the next generation, if they have no taste either.

~page 60
Wrapping It Up -
But some annual Christmas customs, exhaustion among them, are best let go. At 4:00 A.M. this coming Christmas morning, take a quick break from your traditional Search for the Scissors and jot on the October page of your next year's calendar: "Have all Christmas presents gift-wrapped by stores."

Christmastime by Sandra Boynton

Monday, December 20, 2010

Book Christmas Tree

I loved this feature last year on Shelf Awareness and I'm so glad they are doing it again! This is the Book Christmas Tree of the Day from Magers & Quinn Booksellers featuring a display from the University of San Francisco. Isn't it awesome?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading and asks you to :
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3 . Share 2 "teaser" sentences also citing the title of the book and the author and in that way people can have great recommendations if they like the "teaser".
4. Please avoid spoilers!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(When Cassie reluctantly agrees to be an elf for the mall Santa she is given a tiny costume to wear - a short green dress, gold slippers, a Santa-style hat and tiny, size 4 tights that are too small and don't even reach her waist. When she is hoisted into the air in a harness to swing over the crowd at the mall and announce Santa's arrival - disaster strikes...)

Cassie gasped as her tights rolled down, catching on her thighs... The tights slid farther down and everyone in the entire mall seemed to be staring up at her. "I can see the elf's underpants," one little boy called, pointing at her. Suspended above the ground, Cassie watched as several mothers covered their children's eyes.

~Pg 123-124
The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

The last week has been very interesting here in western NY state. Let me see if I can give you the short version...

*Furnace quit, no heat for hours but hubby fixed it.
*Heavy rain, flooded yard, water in basement, no hot water for shower because water put out pilot light on water heater -brrrrr...., hubby fixed it
*Rain turned to snow and lots of it. We had several inches but some places had 2-3 ft!
*Basketball season just started for our youngest son, a senior in high school. We've had games every other day, all away on very snowy roads. I guess we got that bad tire replaced just in time for the winter weather.
*House phone quit working due to bad weather and phone company didn't fix it for days. Bad signal makes it hard to use cell phone. We can go outside in the snow and cold to make calls or try it inside in the kitchen, standing on one foot, with the phone pressed against the window pane, the wind blowing from the north, at sun set, on Tuesdays in months with a "q". Sometimes we get lucky.
*Visit to aunt for two days while uncle is away. She has chemo treatments for breast cancer and wanted company. I was more than happy to do it and wish I could do more. It was a fun visit and was great to have her all to myself. She happens to live 2 hours away near Buffalo and if you've ever heard any weather report in your whole life you know that Buffalo tends to get a bit of snow. (2-3 feet in less than 48 hours) I was able to travel with minimal problems and (mostly) clear roads.
*12 days until Christmas and I have a total of 4 gifts. Four. FOUR. And 2 of them are only stocking stuffers. And my oldest has a birthday on the 22nd. Every time I ask my kids what they want they tell me they don't know. I'm glad they aren't greedy and ask for anything and everything but it would be helpful if they asked for something. After all, I'm pretty sure that Christmas Day is on December 25th every, single year. They knew it was coming. They knew I was going to ask for a list. But, since we go through this time after time I'm not worried. It always gets done.
*Picked out a beautiful tree for a great price. My son helped bring it home, now hubby has to put it up. It sits on the porch, lonely and naked. I do the decorating. ALL of it. But I like the decorating and I love the lights. It's the undecorating that really stinks.
*Read a book and started another. Started several reviews but didn't finish any - yet.

So that was last week. I have lots to do this week and a lot of it is the same stuff as last week. I have lots of blog stuff to work on and lots of good books to read so hopefully I'll get to that. There's more decorations to put up too. I love the lights. Most of the outdoor stuff is done fortunately because this week is supposed to be cold. Single digits cold. Brrr... The first snow was very beautiful though and I did take some photos to share here.

In all of the craziness that comes with the holidays I hope you take time to enjoy your blessings. Even in the hardest times I know I am truly blessed. I have a wonderful family and friends, a roof over my head and junk food in my cupboards. I'm very lucky and very grateful. And I'm happy to have "met" all of you in the blog world too. Enjoy December!

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday at The Printed Page (this month at Let Them Read Books) is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

It's mid-December and I have lots of shopping to do and lots of good books to read (guess which one is more fun!) Was your mailbox full last week?

by Lauren DeStefano

from Simon & Schuster for review

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine att
empts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

by Jennifer Estep

Bought (Brand new $1.25!)

Sparks are going to fly in this new superhero romance from the author of Karma Girl and Hot Mama.

Bella would feel better about being born into a family of superheroes if her own superpower was something she could control-or at least use. But static electricity? That's less a power than a jinx. Then she stumbles on two things no supergirl should be without: an ubervillain and a dashing-if shady-stranger named Debonair. Bella's about to learn just how well love and danger mix.

Allison Hewitt is Trapped
by Madeleine Roux

from Goodreads First Reads for review

Allison Hewitt and her five colleagues at the Brooks and Peabody Bookstore are trapped together when the zombie outbreak hits. Allison reaches out for help through her blog, writing on her laptop and utilizing the military's emergency wireless network (SNET). It may also be her only chance to reach her mother. But as the reality of their situation sinks in, Allison’s blog becomes a harrowing account of her edge-of-the-seat adventures (with some witty sarcasm thrown in) as she and her companions fight their way through ravenous zombies and sometimes even more dangerous humans.

Magnus Maximus, a Marvelous Measurer
by Kathleen T. Pelley

autographed from author

Magnus Maximus is a marvelous measurer. He measures wetness and dryness, nearness and farness, and everything in between. When a lion escapes from a traveling circus, Magnus and his trusty measuring tape come to the rescue. Now a hero, all is well until the day Magnus accidentally breaks his glasses, and he sees—for the first time—that he’s been missing out on life’s simple pleasures.

Kathleen T. Pelley’s marvelous tale and S. D. Schindler's inspired illustrations remind us that the best things in life are not meant to be measured, but treasured.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Contest winner!

Thanks to all who entered for the two arcs I'm giving away, The Replacement and Nightshade. These are books that were passed on to me and I'm happy to pass them on to you. I have lots of books taking up too much space on my shelves so watch for more giveaways!
Congratulations to

I've sent you an email to get your mailing address.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Review: Radiance by Alyson Noel

Most people think that
death is the end.

But those people are wrong.
And I should know.
I died almost a year ago.

Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she's summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She's been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can't quite figure out.

Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her first assignment, a Radiant Boy who's been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But he's never met Riley...

This is the first book in a new middle-grade series.
Riley Bloom is the twelve year-old sister of Ever, the main character of The Immortals series. While those books are about Ever's life on earth this is Riley's adventures in the afterlife. The story is age appropriate and not a scary take on death. In fact, it's really about her trying to adjust to new surroundings, her new home. Since they are in the Here and Now they can live any way they want so they manifest a house and a neighborhood just like the one they left on Earth. They even eat meals, sleep in beds and attend school. The only thing she can't do is be with her sister. Eventually she is given as assignment as a Soul Catcher and Bodhi is her guide and teacher. She is excited to return to earth and Her dog Buttercup gets to come too.

Riley's first task is to remove the Radiant Boy from a castle he haunts. No other Soul Catcher has ever been able to get him to leave and cross over. As she works to figure out this mystery she also learns more about Bodhi. They don't always get along well and it becomes obvious to her that he has his own problems that he keeps to himself. Riley may only be 12 but this assignment has allowed her to realize she doesn't need to be so selfish and she can be helpful to others. In fact, she seems to have a knack for it.

The book was
a quick read about an imaginative new world. It's an interesting take on the afterlife, not scary and is age appropriate. The main characters grow and change as they learn lessons about themselves and others. Some of the problems are resolved a little too neatly but that also seems age appropriate. I really enjoyed the sense of humor and Buttercup was my favorite character. You gotta love a dog who still chases tennis balls in the afterlife! The first book ends with a nice set up for the next one. I look forward to reading more of this series.

Thank you to Square Fish for an arc to review.

Shimmer (B
ook 2) due 3/15/11

author -

Publisher: Square Fish
Release date: September 2010
Price/format: $7.99/paperback
Pages: 192
Type: Middle-grade fiction