7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #62: Featuring Jules’ Funky
Mother’s Day Art (Humor Her, Please)

h1 May 11th, 2008 by Eisha and Jules

Jules: Well, this is a first. The illustrations we had planned to feature this week didn’t quite pan out. I hope that we can show them to you at a later date, but I have something to show you all anyway in the spirit of Mother’s Day.

So, there was this picture book released last year, entitled My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks: And Other Funny Family Portraits, and it was created by Hanoch Piven (released by Schwartz & Wade Books in May of ’07). In an Author’s Note, Piven explains the idea behind the book: He had once spent three unforgettable days in the oncology department of a medical center in Israel, conducting a workshop, “Drawing With Objects,” with sick children and teens. The children “created self-portraits and portraits of their families using objects found in everyday life…” Piven used the experience to create this picture book, the story of a fictional girl who has to draw her family in her classroom — regular ‘ol pen on paper, you know. But, she tells us, “{t}here are so many things about {my dad} that you don’t see in this picture.” As a result, she decides to make portraits of her mother, father, brothers, dog, and herself with objects instead. And she goes on to describe each portrait and each family member. Her dad, for one: He’s as “jumpy as a SPRING and as playful as a SPINNING TOP. He is as fun as a PARTY FAVOR. But sometimes he’s as stubborn as a KNOT in a ROPE.” And, of course, she creates an image of him using these objects (the springs are eyebrows, the spinning top is his nose, the rope with the knot is his mouth . . . you get the picture).

It really is a neat book. Good concept. A great tool for having children create their own family portraits, using objects. You’ll see good reviews at PlanetEsme, Kids Lit, and Book Buds—just to name a few.

But . . . there was just one thing that bugged me: The portrait of the mother. “My mommy is as soft as the softest FLUFF and as bright as the brightest LIGHT. She is as tasty as the crunchiest COOKIE. No, TASTIER! She’s as delicious as a CROISSANT. That’s my yummy mommy! (Mommy, I’m going to eat you all up.)”

Soft? Sure. Bright? This is good. Tasty? Meh. And then to continue on about how edible this girl’s mother is when the girl could have found some more objects and described her mother with a bit more detail? With respect to Hanoch Piven, who really has created a playful, very fun book here, most mothers I know—including myself—are more complicated than that and . . . well, don’t want to be so easily consumed.

So, I’ve been meaning to make my own portrait ever since this book first came out, and I thought, why not on Mother’s Day? It’s pictured above. Here goes nuthin’ . . .

  • Eyes — I can be as mysterious as a wrapped gift. I can also be as type-A as the day is long — though I think just type-A enough to keep me organized but not quite pathological (my husband might disagree).
  • Nose — My urge to protect my daughters can be as fierce as a flame.
  • Nostrils — I have as much potential in me as those seeds.
  • Left ear — I hope I’m important like a button is. Yes, a button. (Naomi Shihab Nye, “Famous”: “I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous / or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular, / but because it never forgot what it could do.”)
  • Right ear — That’s a pendant with green amber inside. Amber can change color, depending on how long and intensively it is heated. So can I, particularly as a mother.
  • Mouth — That’s my engagement ring, a “Pencez de Moy” (old French for “think of me”) Poesy Ring. Three reasons that’s there: I’m as reliable—and can be as comforting—as a circle; I’m naive enough sometimes in this world to be in a pretty consistent state of surprise and amazement (my “o” mouth-shape there); and, well, I don’t want to get too gushy here: Let’s just say my husband’s the very best person I know.
  • I can be as giving (sometimes to a fault) and as vulnerable (sometimes to a fault) as two open, outstretched hands.
  • I am as strong as the pots of coffee Eisha and I used to make when we were roommates. This is strong, people (the only way coffee should be). I’m also as strong and solid as the wood upon which my portrait is lying.
  • Oh, last but not least: Party hat on top of head! I can be really fun. Especially if Eisha’s around and, say, “Graceland” is blaring. Especially when my daughters and I are playing chase. Especially when I’m playing Pictionary. Especially when I’ve had some chocolate-covered espresso beans and/or a few glasses of wine.
  • And I was going to try to Photoshop-out the light glaring in this image, but I like the idea that I reflect light, too. Or maybe that I’m made of light. Maybe both.

I dunno. I like this better than being “yummy” and consumable. Any other mothers want to try this? Or anyone at all, whether you have children or not? That’s my portrait — for now. I guess it could change in a few years, as it probably should.

That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

Eisha and I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there!

* * * * * * *

As a reminder, our weekly 7 Kicks list is the meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week — whether book-related or not — that happened to you. You — yes, you reading now — are more than welcome to leave your kicks from the week, whether you’ve ever done so before or not.

* * * * * * *

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

Octavian 2: Dead Man1* Jules, you’re an artist! That is the coolest self-portrait ever.

2* The husband and I got sushi this weekend to celebrate the end of his first school year.

3* My herbs are still alive. This is something of a record for me.

4* I emailed a friend that I’d shamefully lost touch with. We’re going to try to meet up this summer, either on her turf or mine.

5* I got an ARC of the second Octavian book in the mail, and I am so excited to read it. But I can’t start it yet because…

6* …I’m almost finished with the second Penderwicks book, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. Love it.which is turning out to be terrible bedtime reading material because it keeps making me laugh out loud. Excellent book, though.

7* I saw two great movies this week. First was The Darjeeling Limited, which has been on my to-see list since it came out because I love Wes Anderson so much. It fully met expectations. Second was Cloverfield, which I didn’t expect to like at all. It’s amazingly creepy, and very effective, and I’m so glad I didn’t know too much about it before I saw it.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

Eisha, I just can’t stinkin’ wait ’til I get my Octavian. No fair that you live closer to the publisher and get mail faster! (But I’m still happy for you.)

What a kicky week I had!

1) Eisha’s sweet-as-all-get-out birthday post to me and the ever-so kind comments from everyone. Thanks again to everyone! Oh, and Eisha’s snail-mail gift to me. A very funny card and a signed copy of Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty. Libba called me “a blogging goddess.” Or maybe Eisha told her to write that. Either way, someone’s flattering me.

2). The birthday cake my husband made. You know what inspired it? God, I’m going to sound like an insufferable Picture Book Nerd (wait, I already know I am one), but we were reading Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s Dog and Bear: Two’s Company a LOT last week to our girls, and Dog totally bakes a vanilla cake with strawberry frosting with rainbow sprinkles on it for Bear’s birthday. And so I said to my girls, Mmmm. Let’s make that for my birthday. And my husband did. And holy powdered sugar! The frosting he made (from scratch) was devilishly good. Real strawberries in it. Mmmm again.

3). The thoughtful gift’age bestowed upon me by my family: This and this and some Gomez and some fresh flowers and this (though I haven’t seen the movie yet, the music’s great). My husband wasn’t so sure about this, since it’s got, like, Avril Lavigne covering “Imagine” (I’m sorry, but SHUDDER), but he got it anyway, and it was worth it. There’s a KILLER cover of “Real Love” by Regina Spektor, “Instant Karma” by U2, and “#9 Dream” by R.E.M. There are two covers of “Gimme Some Truth,” one of my favorite songs EVER, but meh. I love Lennon singing that one so much that it’s hard to find a cover I like (Really. Sam Phillips even covered it years ago, and I didn’t care for it.)

4). I’m reading Stuart Little to my girls this week.

5). Jone sent me a poem postcard from one of her students, Maya in third grade. It is a poem about a brown bear and its cry of sadness, swooping through her house. I love it.

6). I had a yummy Mother’s Day breakfast yesterday morning.

7). This sounds really mundane or will make me sound dingy or whatever, but . . . I’ve been really tired lately, as in getting so incredibly tired in the middle of the day that it was kinda scaring me. Then I figured out that it’s probably because, for about just as long as I’ve been feeling that tired, I wasn’t taking my regular ‘ol multi-vitamin. So, I got back on it and I feel better.

Happy Mother’s Day to all! Here’s my suggested gift to yourself: Mothers Need Time-Outs, Too by Susan Callahan, Anne Nolen, and Katrin Schumann. I always used to tell myself I’d never be one of those mothers who sacrifices too much of herself for her children, but, well . . . it’s hard. So I actually found myself reading this book. And it’s got some good advice. Even if you think you do a good job of taking time for yourself, it’s still chock full ‘o’ tips on how to stop the wretched multi-tasking and actually just soak in time with your children. Not done reading it yet, but so far, a good read.

And now for your listening pleasure, the aforementioned BEAUTIFUL version of John Lennon’s “Real Love” by the insanely talented Regina Spektor (at some Lollapalooza performance years ago — I didn’t know they still even had Lollapaloozas):

What are your kicks this week?

26 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #62: Featuring Jules’ Funky
Mother’s Day Art (Humor Her, Please)”

  1. Eisha,

    It seems hard to believe that your husband has been working there a whole year already!


    Happy Mother’s Day. Love your self portrait!


    1. After a few gray, misty days–the sun is shining brightly for Mother’s Day.

    2. After more than two months of battling a respiratory/sinus infection, x-rays, blood tests, and three different prescriptions–I’m finally able to breathe normally again. What a relief. I don’t feel so tired and drained any longer.

    3. I even got out for a couple of brisk walks last week. It felt so good because I hadn’t done any exercise for such a long time.

    4. My husband made me his fabulous homemade pizza last night as a Mother’s Day gift.

    5. One of my absolute favorite picture book illustrators emailed me this week. She said she’d love to be the guest speaker at our reading council dinner in May 2009.

    6. I’m really looking forward to our spring council dinner on May 21st because one of my favorite children’s poets is going to be our featured speaker.

    7. Although I really enjoyed the students in my children’s literature course this past semester–it’s nice to have the grades submitted and to be completely free of any tecahing responsibilties for a few months.

  2. Happy Mpther’s Day. Jules, I love the self-portrait and the explanation….agreed much better than the consumable and yummy. I love the button and the coffee lines. Glad you liked the postcard.
    Eisha, so happy to hear those herbs are alive and kicking.
    My kicks:
    1. The poetry project with a class based on the prompt from Elaine’s interview with Janet Wong a few weeks ago. It was my Poetry Friday entry.
    2. Email from Janet Wong regarding the poetry prompt and her words of encourgment for my own “ring, blanket, and drum” poem.
    3. Having Nicole Rubel at my school on Tuesday. What a great presenter. The students loved her and I learned how many books she has written and iluustrated.
    4. Our library media meeting this week in which we as a group decided to protest the process in which a book was moved to the high school from the middle school.
    5. My assistant gave me an amazingly big hanging plant for teacher appreciation week.
    6.Going to my daughter’s house for brunch this AM for Mother’s Day.
    7. New hair highlights.
    Have a great week.

  3. Thanks for posting your self-portrait and commentary, Jules! That poem by Nye reminds me of Neruda’s odes to common things. Eisha, that’s lovely about the ARCs… alas, Octavian I is on my “abandoned” bookshelf on GoodReads. I wonder if it’s my YA version of the Scarlet Letter….

    My kicks:
    1) Lucia’s 5th birthday party was a blast yesterday. Six girls came, and it was all quite managable inside our little house– I’d hoped for a sunny day so we could have the party outside, but that’s Seattle for you!
    2) My aunt and uncle were in town briefly yesterday evening, and we all got to go out to dinner with them.
    3) Ahem. This is strictly material. I recevied my belated birthday present from my husband, my brother and his girlfriend (who’s an official adopted-auntie for Lucia), which was a new digital camera. Yay! It has a video feature, too, so I’ve got grand hopes for teeny-tiny films.

    4) The cilantro (aka “foot-scented herb”) and basil are growing on my windowsill. Hurrah. Now, I just need to get them into the ground before the cats get at the seedlings.

    5) We’re off to see the “Busytown” musical today at the Seattle Children’s Theatre.

    6) Is that actual sunshine I see outside my window?

    7) For rainy days, I received a cool umbrella from my daughter as a Mother’s Day present. It’s a large umbrella that’s dark blue on the outside, but light blue on the inside with clouds.

  4. Hello All! I’m off to spend the day graduating my amazing seniors. It’s a Mother’s Day tradition for UR. I can think of better ways to spend my day, but there you go.

    Congrats to Elaine on getting her grades done. I have three more students to go. THAT is very good news for me. Here are a few others.

    * I spent the week at 2-days of amazing workshops. I can’t wait to really spend some time mulling over what I’ve learned.

    * The box of homemade Mother’s Day gifts from my son. I have several homemade journals, lots of pictures, and a visor covered with hearts. Fun stuff.

    *The Martha Stewart Cookie cookbook I bought myself as a Mother’s Day gift.

    That’s all from here. I hope everyone has a great week.

  5. Jules, that’s quite a visual poem. I especially love the “a” eye. It’s a-dorable and a-ccurate. And the hands? Beautiful, and they could also stand for your signing/interpreting career, and your tendency to introduce people to each other. (Two things your girls will appreciate more and more as they grow with you as their mother.) Me thinks you need a spot of coffee in that cup, though, with fancy barista swirls.

    Eisha, I’m so jealous of your Octavian ARC! (And your herb-growing ability.)


    1) Mother’s Day Brunch with two grown children is quite…satisfying. No whining, poking, knocking over of drinks or smears of jelly on my pants. Son drove to the restaurant; daughter drove back. We discussed careers and The Office and the merits of eggs benedict and fresh raspberries. Lattes afterwards.

    2) The day my new brown patent wedge shoes and three books about Rilke arrived via UPS.

    3) My nephew played the piano one night at Barnes and Noble-how cool is that?

  6. Happy Mother’s Day, everybody!

    Jules, I love your self portrait. It’s very very cool and revealing and clever — and you didn’t even have to cut your ear off! And you know I LOVE those hands, open and giving, yet vulnerable. Glad you’re feeling better with the vitamins. Am jealous of the birthday cake with strawberry frosting. Yum.

    Eisha, that was a lovely birthday post you did for Jules — and I’m so jealous you’re reading the second Penderwicks book. Must check out Darjeeling Limited, too.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better, Elaine. Sinus infections, especially chronic ones, can really drain you and make life miserable.

    Le kicks:

    1. Sushi last night! And tempura, and teriyaki chicken and potato salad and bean sprouts . . .

    2. My writer friend gave me a lemon herb plant, potted in a giant teacup and saucer. It’s adorable, but I hope it survives (I’m not good with plants). Eisha, we’ll have to see whose plant(s) last longest.

    3. Rereading Lensey Namioka books. Making the recipe she sent me tonight!

    4. DH gave me a bouquet of multi-colored roses.

    5. Watching Mr. Donnelly (groundhog) on his outdoor adventures. I’m seeing him all the time now, and he’s very busy.

    6. Trying several new dark chocolate brands that my husband brought back from London.

    7. Stumbled upon a cute photo of Jules and Eisha at Wild Rose Reader. I got such good vibes from it that I was smiling all day.

    Have a lovely Mayish week!

  7. Happy Mother’s Day! Great artwork, Jules!

    My kicks:
    1. Rick Riordan’s talk yesterday. This man is awesome!
    2. My third grader came with me. She’s a reluctant reader and was amazed at how much the kids were so excited about reading Rick’s books.
    3. He signed our books!
    4. Third grader made me the most beautiful bracelet.
    5. Four-year-old made up the most delightful Mother’s Day song.
    6. First grader painted an incredible picture for me.
    7. Sushi

  8. That’s a great self-portrait, Jules! Your birthday cake sounds really yummy too.

    Eisha, isn’t it a relief when you finally touch base with someone you feel like you should have kept in contact with? Hope your meet-up goes well!

    Jone your big hanging plant sounds intriguing, our office has some new plants after a discussion on the benefits of plants in the workplace – hope your gift thrives!

    1. Last bank holiday Monday we visited Anglesey Abbey, which is an old country house near Cambridge. It’s a lovely building with great gardens and, bizarrely, what I reckon must be the world’s largest collection of paintings of Windsor Castle. Not only were there paintings from last 400 years of the castle, but even ones of random rural scenes with titles like “near Windsor Castle”.
    2. The weather this week has been lovely. It’s been sunny and even warm! Granted, I’m still carrying a light jacket around with me but I wore a skirt with BARE LEGS this week!
    3. I have finished up a few projects at work and am actually anticipating a time where I am not just frantically doing urgent stuff but also catching up on longer term projects.
    4. I had a lovely looong chat with one of my sisters yesterday and feel caught up on the family goss.
    5. Everything is growing really fast. You turn around and there are new leaves on a tree and nettles climbing over the path. And poppies have started coming out next to the roads!
    6. Yesterday we saw a water shrew! I’d heard there was one hanging around a pond in a local reserve and yesterday evening we spotted it swimming around.
    7. And talk about saving the best for last, today we went to visit the house that the children’s books of Green Knowe was based on! The manor at Hemingford Grey is one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses so it was interesting beyond the connections to the books.

  9. Elaine, so glad you feel better. Kicks #5 and #6 are tantalizing. Can you share names, or should we just be patient and let them be revealed (assuming you’re going to blog about it)? And I still want a job just like yours.

    Jone, which book are you talking in #4? If you’ve blogged about it, I’ve missed it, ’cause I’m so behind. What great kicks — poetry projects, Janet Wong, Nicole Rubel. Have a fun brunch today!

    Alkelda, happy belated birthday. What a great umbrella, and please tell us how that musical is.

    Tricia, congrats on being almost-done. I can’t wait ’til my girls are old enough to make me boxes of home-made gifts. Hope you get home early and get some Mother’s Day time with your family.

    Sara, I hope one of those Rilke books is Letters to a Young Poet?! What a lovely meal out you had with your children. Do you know that every time I see snippets of “The Office,” I feel like the geeky kid who is behind and missing something great? ‘Cause I saw the first season of the original show but never caught this one.

    Jama, I KNEW you’d appreciate those hands. I thought of you when I placed them down in my portrait. I wish I could mail you some of my cake; we have too much of it and right when my husband and I decided we HAVE to reign ourselves in and do better about eating better and getting in shape. But, man, it’s gooooood. ……I’m not aware of a photo of us at Elaine’s blog. I’m intrigued….Congrats on your beautiful roses. Have you caught that chipmunk yet?

    And, you know, everyone seems to have had sushi this week. Yum.

    Vivian, what a good week you had. I’ll have to check your blog to see if you blogged about seeing Rick.

    Emmaco, your kicks just embody all kinds of lovelinesses. Poppies, growing things, manors, family. Did you take pics of #7?

    I hope someone ELSE makes a portrait and posts it at their blog! Hint, hint.

  10. Feed by MT Anderson. Wrote an apology poem for not being at the hearing.

  11. I’m planning to write a post about it, Jules, but seeing as I’m about three weeks behind on other photos and about a million weeks behind on books I wouldn’t hold my breath 🙂

  12. First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms checking in today.

    Jules, I didn’t tell Libba Bray to write that – somehow she just knew.

    Elaine, thank goodness you’re feeling better – that must have been awful. Have a great time at the reading council dinner!

    Jone, how awesome that Janet Wong emailed you. And bless you for fighting the good fight over Feed. Fight the power! Stick it to da man!

    Alkelda – Happy Birthday to Lucia, and Happy Belated Birthday to you! Congrats on your stinky cilantro. Mine’s thriving too, I think just to spite me.

    Tricia, congrats on the end of the semester, although I can’t imagine why they’re scheduling graduation on Mother’s Day. Glad you’re having a good one anyway.

    Sara, the shoes sound adorable. And how lovely you got to have both kids with you for brunch.

    Jama, the nice thing about herb plants is that, if they look like they’re on the way out, you can just eat them, so it’s not a total waste. Good luck with yours, though.

    Vivian, I’m glad the Riordan talk made such an impression on your 3rd grader – maybe she’ll catch the reading bug after all. And your presents sound lovely.

    emmaco, when are you having me out for a visit? Seriously, your posts always sound like you’re wandering around in paradise.

  13. That’s what I figured, Jone. So, you all protested, but it still got moved to the high school, right?

    Emmaco, looking forward to your post — whenever it might be.

  14. Oh, wow do I love Regina Spektor. Thanks for posting that video…amazingness.

  15. Jules, the self-portrait is awesome. Thanks for sharing it. And I’m glad that you had such a great birthday. Eisha, enjoy the rest of the Penderwicks book. I loved it, too. I hope that there are many many more books about the Penderwick family. Elaine, I’m so glad that you’re feeling better. And Emmaco, that is SO cool about seeing the Green Knowe house.

    1. I wrote three book reviews today – the most I’ve had the concentration for in months. I just might be getting my life back to normal (well, I have another trip next weekend, but closer to normal, at least).

    2. I’m reading the second Mysterious Benedict Society book, and it’s a lot of fun so far.

    3. I’m late with mentioning this, but we had family visit from the East Coast a couple of weeks ago, and we had the best time. And both of the nieces that were here – what did they want to do first thing after arriving at our house? Read some of the books that I’d left in their room. It made them happy – it made me happy… Such a great thing. We had a good time hanging out with their parents, too.

    4. Our new sofa arrived recently, and it is SO comfortable. In fact, it’s almost too comfortable for reading, because I fall asleep. But it’s worth it. We had needed a new couch for at least five years. The delayed gratification made this that much better.

    5. I’m planning to go see Rick Riordan speak at a local bookstore this week, and even more looking forward to it after hearing Vivian’s positive feedback. I’m planning on wearing my Hunters of Artemis t-shirt.

    6. This week I bought the complete set of re-issued Melendy family books, in paperback, with the original illustrations. I haven’t sat down to re-read them yet, but it makes me happy just having them in the house. A small step towards the restitution of my book collection.

    7. I’m just happy to be back sharing in the 7 kicks! Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers here in the Kidlitosphere!

  16. I love the self-portrait!

    Here are my 7 kicks:
    1. This is my first time sharing my 7 kicks.

    2. I just finished my first full week of blogging and so far, so good.

    3. I got a massage for Mother’s Day. Which meant I had one hour in a room and didn’t have to talk, or think, or lift things that are too heavy to lift.

    4. I just finished reading 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult and thought that it was one of the most brilliant, moving books I have read. Ever.

    5. My son is healthy — no more scarlet fever, no more ear infections… not even a cold. (I hope I didn’t just jinx anything!)

    6. There were new episodes of The Office. Gray’s Anatomy and Lost on this week. And I liked all of them.

    7. I had a lovely weekend/Mother’s Day and was able to see just about all of my family, except my sister, who I would really have loved to see. It was wonderful to be surrounded by the people who I love.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  17. Jules,

    In regard to my two “tantalizing” kicks:

    #6. Janet Wong is going to be the speaker at the May 21st dinner meeting of our reading council. I just wrote up a post about it for Wild Rose Reader.

    #5. I’ll let you know who our speaker will be for May of 2009 when I’ve conformed all the arrangements for that event.

  18. Oops! I should have typed confirmed–not conformed.

  19. Happy Mother’s Day!

    eisha: RE: Penderwicks: I think the first was stronger, possibly because it was the original, and possibly because the second had to live up to high expectations, but they are both cute. Congrats to your husband on finishing his first school year!

    Rock on with the self-portrait, Jules! I love that your husband made you a cake inspired by Dog and Bear. I hope your girls like Stuart Little.

    I am currently watching Candles on Bay Street, a Hallmark movie starring Alicia Silverstone, Eion Bailey, and Annabeth Gish. I haven’t read the book, but I love this casting.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Taking initative
    2) Dreaming
    3) Dancing
    4) Preparing to sub
    5) Walking
    6) Reading
    7) Laughing

  20. Erin, it is good, isn’t it? Leave it to Jules to find the cool music videos.

    Jen, your nieces are so lucky to have an aunt who knows just what books to leave lying around. And there is nothing like reading/napping on a comfy sofa. Enjoy!

    Welcome to the kidlitosphere, Jenny! Everyone, go check out her blog, it’s really interesting. And I didn’t know people still got scarlet fever – it sounds so victorian. Yikes! Glad your son is all better now.

    Little Willow, you may have a point about the 2nd Penderwicks book vs. the 1st. I just finished it a little while ago, and need to mull it over.

  21. Erin, one reason I posted that song for Mother’s Day is that, in some ways, it makes me think of my children.

    Jen, YAY new couch! Congrats on getting reviews written and on getting to see Rick. Have fun!

    Welcome, Jenny! Congrats on the new blog. Glad your son is well, and, man, do I covet your massage.

    Elaine, awesome.

    Little Willow, I look forward every week to your one-word kicks.

  22. Nice to meet you, Jenny, and Happy Mother’s Day!

    Eisha: *nod* I read it over a month ago but didn’t review it yet myself because I needed to make sure I didn’t “under-enthuse” about it. I find the scene with Batty and the bull in the first book so gosh golly hilarious that I still quote it.

    Jen: I haven’t read the 3rd or 4th RR/PJ books yet, but I do have a Greek booklist in the works.

    Jules: Thanks! I had to kind of push for a few things to make it total seven this week.

  23. Eisha, it’s funny you should say that as I was just arguing with (yet another) British person who was denigrating the charms of this country (and in particular my area). But if it’s any help I’ll talk more in future lists about household chores and lack of decent bread and so on 🙂

  24. NO, Emmaco! Keep wandering around in paradise as long as you can! Chores, BEGONE. VAMOOSE!

  25. emmaco, I have the same problem here. People I meet keep complaining about the small-town-ness, the weather, etc., and I keep saying “Look! There’s a waterfall! In your backyard! What is your problem?” It’s all in how you look at things.

    Little Willow, true, that was a funny scene, and hard to top.

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