7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #125: Featuring Lita Judge

h1 July 26th, 2009 by Eisha and Jules

“We kids had done it! All of Boston cheered.”
(Click to enlarge this image — and all of Lita’s images below.)

Jules: Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, our weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on 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.

Today, 7-Imp welcomes author/illustrator Lita Judge, who is here to share a bit of sneak-peek art from her forthcoming title, as well as some spreads from her most recent picture book (and the second title she’s both written and illustrated), Pennies for Elephants (Hyperion, June 2009). Pennies, based on actual events of the turn of the last century, tells the story of two young siblings, living in Boston in 1914, named Henry and Dorothy. They had only seen elephants “once in real life, when Grams took Henry and me to the circus. They were my favorites. Henry’s too,” says Dorothy when she sees a newspaper boy one winter afternoon on a street corner, yellling, “Pennies for elephants! Pennies for elephants! Send in your pennies, your nickels, and dimes!” It turns out that the Orfords, noted animal trainers there in Boston, were retiring from show business, yet the city of Boston couldn’t afford to buy the pachyderms—the performing elephants, named Mollie, Tony, and Waddy—for the zoo. Mr. and Mrs. Orford, however, were going to give the children of the city two months to collect $6,000 so that they could visit the animals at the zoo one day. Henry, then, gets a bright idea, and
“{w}hen Henry got an idea in his head, it was like fuel to a Studebaker.” Thus begins the tale of how the children in Boston saved their nickels, pennies, and dimes to purchase the elephants for the city — beginning with Henry and Dorothy’s “entire life savings combined,” one dollar and fourteen cents.

Pennies’ title page

‘Pennies for elephants! Pennies for elephants! Send in your pennies, your nickels, and dimes!'”

I’ve read Pennies, and it spills over with joy. Lita’s story of children of all backgrounds banding together for a common community cause—painted on a bright palette that makes no apologies for color (Who needs coffee? Her sunny paintings will wake you right up.)—is engaging and brings to vivid life a bygone era. And it does so with a sweet nostalgia that could easily be too cloying, yet isn’t. Lita strikes just the right balance of warm-hearted and tender with spirited and compelling. And, according to the author’s note, cleverly painted right into an old 1914 newspaper article on the book’s endpages, Lita experienced her share of nausea, while reading decades’ worth of newspapers on microfilm for the book’s research.

“‘The elephants are going to parade through Boston. Marching bands and drum corps—the works!’ Henry read. We raced to the Boston Post and signed up to be in the marching band.
I told baby Tony about the parade, and the governor coming, and how many people would be there. I told him every detail, over and over—so he wouldn’t be nervous.”

Lita, who just got back from the ALA conference, is here today to say a bit about the book — and what’s next for her. I thank her for stopping by this morning and sharing her watercolors.

* * * * * * *

Lita: I stumbled onto this story of Pennies for Elephants while reading a rather dry account of New England history. There was one brief sentence that described an event when the children of Boston earned enough money to purchase the first elephants for the Franklin Park Zoo in 1914, and that the elephants names where Mollie, Waddy, and Tony. That was it. My imagination painted the image of the three elephants parading into Fenway Park with crowds of children watching.

“At last, the day arrived! Every seat was filled, and crowds spilled out onto the field as we marched into Fenway Park. Mollie, Waddy, and Tony trumpeted so loudly, they sounded like their own brass band.”

I wanted to capture the nostalgic feel of the time period, and also illustrate the story in a way that was fun and contemporary. I experimented with the look of the characters, costumes, and colors. My process involves hundreds of sketches –- I slowly create the gestures and expressions of my characters to reflect the story. One of my favorite parts of the process was working with models for reference -– I had costume parties in the backyard with neighborhood kids. They had a ball acting out the story, and their expressions and enthusiasm added a lot to the illustrations. And I also got to work with a trained elephant, which was a lot of fun.

I used watercolors with a light line of ink on top to emphasize the nostalgic feel. The colors are warm sepias with bright accents to capture a sense that the story takes place in 1914. But color is also used to reflect the fun, enthusiastic mood of the children in the story. The illustrations in Pennies for Elephants captures a blend of paint and line work I always dreamed of creating.

“Then the governor presented the elephants to the mayor. He tried to be very serious, but when Tony searched his pockets for a treat, everyone laughed.”

My artistic influences mostly come from the time I’ve spent looking at original artwork in museums. When I first started painting, I traveled to Europe over twenty times in about a five-year span. With my French-easel and dozens of blank canvases tucked under my arm, I painted street scenes of European cities and landscapes in the countryside with oil paint. I was able to sell these on-location paintings back home at galleries, and this financed my trips, so I could spend more time soaking up Old Master drawings and paintings in Russia, Italy, Sweden, France, and Spain. As I continued developing as an artist, I realized I loved the drawings of the Late 19th/Early 20th century illustrators, like Harry Rountree and Howard Pyle. Eventually, I turned toward creating my own children’s book illustrations.

My first book as author and illustrator was One Thousand Tracings, another story based on true events.

My next book is Yellowstone Moran, which will be released on September 3 from Viking. This is a book I’ve literally been dreaming of illustrating, since I was four years old. As a child, I spent several weeks every year camping in the Yellowstone region, while my parents photographed Grizzly Bears and other wildlife. I sat for hours, sketching in my journal and imagining what it must have been like to be an artist explorer, like Thomas Moran. I’ve returned to Yellowstone National Park almost every year of my life, but always with the desire to tell Moran’s story. To create the illustrations, I followed in his footsteps, reading his journals, painting at locations he painted, and eventually writing and illustrating this book.

Again, the really curious can click on each of Lita’s spreads to see more of her warm watercolor action up close. I see at this link that my daughters share Lita’s own childhood love of dinosaurs. And that Lita got to paint some in 2007. Anyway, thanks to Lita for stopping by, especially for that sneak-peek look at Yellowstone Moran.

PENNIES FOR ELEPHANTS. Copyright © 2009 by Lita Judge. Published by Hyperion Books, New York, NY. Reproduced by permission of the author. All rights reserved.

YELLOWSTONE MORAN: PAINTING THE AMERICAN WEST. Copyright © 2009 by Lita Judge. Published by Viking, New York, NY. Reproduced by permission of the author. All rights reserved.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

Did I ACTUALLY say “who needs coffee?” up there? I really like Lita’s watercolors, but I’ll always need coffee. Okay. Just clearing that up.

1). The stargazer lilies my friend brought over bloomed this week. I love the name “stargazer lily.” They smell even better than their name.

2). Illustrator Matthew Cordell (who visited me here, remember?) has started a new blog feature—very much not unlike our kicks—in which he’ll list his Top Tens. His favorite things of the moment, that is. And in his first post ever like that, 7-Imp is #8! Thanks, Matt. Especially since I like pretty much everything else there and enjoy its company on the list. Kalamata olives. Neil Young. NUTELLA. Excellent. (I haven’t met his beautiful daughter, Romy, but I like her anyway, too. I mean, just look at her.)

3). The music of Elbow (thanks, Jill). Check out where they got their band name in that link there. I love that.

And this right here below is a good song, is what it is (“Grounds for Divorce”). With one unforgettable opening line. Turn it up, man:

4). Naomi Shihab Nye’s response to Roger Sutton’s query, “have you ever seen a ghost?” It’s in the comments of this post. I don’t know why that’s a kick. It’s just creepy-good.

5). So, here’s where you all will try to revoke my library degree, because I have to admit something shameful in this kick. Let’s get the admission out of the way: I have never actually read a Junie B. Jones book. I know, I know. Children’s librarian. Never read Junie. Reprehensible. But, I dunno, I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Yet. I recently got an unsolicited review copy of Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to School. It sat around a while, and then I picked it up and read it to my five-year-old. There were several spots in the book in which we thought we’d stop breathing from laughing so hard. When she wrote that she would add a flyswatter to her school supply list, if she were in charge of it, “on account of there is always someone who needs a teensy swat. And that is just a fact,” my five-year-old literally fell over laughing. That child. She has her father’s sadistic sense of humor. Okay, her mother’s, too.

6). You know this poster? That’s me. (Except add movie-watching in there.) But sometimes I will actually watch a little bit of television. I caught this on Conan the other night when I was too tired to do anything but veg in front of a talking box. If you can get past the boob jokes, the actual voicing-over of the anime cracked me up somethin’ fierce. (Sorry about the ad at the beginning.)

7). Yesterday Betsy Bird reviewed the latest picture book of German author/illustrator Sebastian Meschenmoser (WHEW, look at those paintings at his web site’s home page), Waiting for Winter (Kane/Miller). I happen to have a copy of this book, too (an early copy, I thought, but I guess it’s already out. Der. This is what happens when you’re unorganized, as I am, and have a lot of your books sitting around in piles). Speaking of books that make you laugh outloud a lot (as I did above), this is another one of those. This picture book is winning in every way, and it is hysterical. Betsy pretty much agrees. In fact, we’re already talking about perhaps co-posting about it or trying to interview the man; the latter would make me extremely happy, as I particularly lurv talking to international illustrators. I don’t know what I’ll do, but it’s simply a fabulous picture book. So, more on that later. The kick here is that someone else has a deep and abiding love for it, as I do.

* * * eisha’s kicks * * *

1* I love those watercolor mountains and waterfalls. And the detail in the Pennies spreads.

2* Well now, Elbow just became my new favorite band. Who ever thought of using a beer stein as a percussion instrument? Thanks, J.

3* Remember how last weekend I was in the Berkshires? It was to see the latest show my husband designed, Underneath the Lintel. It’s an interesting piece that combines some of my very favorite things: a librarian protagonist, mythology, a hint of the supernatural, and an impossible quest. I liked it. And obviously, the set was brilliant.

Glynis Bell as the librarian in Underneath the Lintel.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, with beautiful cover art by Kinuko Y. Craft.4* Old friends. I’m missing the Poets Upstairs something awful since they moved, but I’ve enjoyed their blog posts from the road, and we’re keeping in touch through email.

5* New friends. One of our visiting researchers and I have struck up a friendship over the past couple of weeks, and we had a lovely lunch on Saturday. Alas! he’s going back home, but that’s what Facebook is for.

6* I got a magic dress! It’s flattering (I think), it’s washable, it’s even dryable. I dressed it up with fancy sandals for a play, and dressed it down with flip-flops for work. It’s so comfortable it feels like I’m wearing a big t-shirt, but I get compliments every time I wear it. Also, it was $30. I wish it came in more colors – I would have bought them all.

7* I finally started reading Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier. I know, I know… I’m like two years behind the rest of you. But see, I’ve read two of her Sevenwaters trilogy books, and I liked them (particularly the first) but didn’t loooove them, so I’ve been a little skeptical of all the Wildwood hype. I have to say, though, it’s pretty good so far.


Yet another reason to love McSweeney’s: this “transcript” of the Apollo 11 mission recordings that we didn’t get to hear.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

48 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #125: Featuring Lita Judge”

  1. Oh LOVE LOVE LOVE Lita Judge! So happy to see her here. I adored “Yellowstone Moran” (It’s one of my cool reads in my Bookslut column this month). I especially love her personal story about Moran at the book’s end. It’s just awesome (and so was Moran).

    Don’t have a list of seven kicks – just one big one: I have kicked cancer’s ass yet again and all stitches are out and I will be running my very first 5K next weekend. HUZZAH!!!

    To be honest I have no idea if I will run the whole distance, but I think I can. It’s been a crazy summer with stitiches in and out and running and no running and ice and ouch and well – if you’ve been there you know. But I’m 40 and I’m running my first race and I get a ribbon if I finish.

    I’m so totally going to put that sucker on my wall. Promise.

  2. Happy Kickin’ Sunday, everyone!

    First of all, to Colleen: kicking cancer’s ass must be the best kick of all! Here’s to you winning that 5K ribbon!

    It’s only 50 minutes into Sunday, California time, but I’m a sleep-deprived night owl, so why not post a little earlier than usual? Just returned from another joy-infused Luce concert (sorry, but I have to sing their praises again here at 7imp) so I’m still hyped up from all the happy songs. The setting was beautiful – outside in 70 degree weather under a crescent moon, with lots of young families dancing with their children. I know it sounds hokey, but the transforming power of music is a wonderful thing to see, and to feel. So that’s my first kick.

    Speaking of music, I’m glad you posted the Elbow video, Jules, and that you like them as much as I do (although I was pretty sure you would). I must give credit where it’s due, however, since Sam Phillips became a “fan” of theirs on her FB page, and that’s how I first heard of them. The lyrics are rather cryptic, or maybe I’m just obtuse – “Monday is for drinking to the seldom seen kid” ? Translation, please. Elbow qualifies as a kick for me, too.

    Loved the Conan segment, Jules. “Manga! Shabadah, huh?” New expressions to confuse those around us. Also loved McSweeney’s “transcript”, Eisha – hilarious! And I would love to see “Underneath the Lintel” – what a great plot. 113 years of late fees is a lot of money.

    Just two more kicks: a poem called “Of Book Trees” by C.E. Chaffin. I could only find it on his blog, so scroll down underneath “Day 5” at this link and you’ll see the poem: http://cechaffin.blogspot.com/2009/04/4-more-poems-for-national-poetry-month.html
    Last but not least, I am getting ready to start a side business related to books, and I’m very excited but freaked at the same time. Don’t want to jinx anything, but I’ve taken the first steps and that’s a big deal for me.

    Have a grand week, everyone!

  3. Oh, I love Lita’s work, love elephants, love Boston, love a period when pennies were worth something. It was great to learn more about Lita’s process, especially the moment of plodding through something pretty dry, then… sparks.

    Thanks for asking again for kicks, which is a nice thing to think about on a rainy Sunday morning.

    1. Getting texts from my daughter at the ComicCon in San Diego. Johhny Depp sighting! Lots of female screaming from Twilight fans!

    2. I sighed nostalgically at the mention of dinosaur loving children, memories of long ago, but I’m learning finally that if my nineteen-year-old tells me to read Twilight, I must read Twilight. The conversation will be different, but there will be a conversation.

    3. But in my own little universe… I always love reading Jama Rattigan’s blog at livejournal (not sure that I can put in a link, so I won’t, but was particularly taken this week with her thoughts on and pictures from Secret Garden.

    4. which led to a discussion of musicals based on classics. And me playing my cd from the Little Women musical. Which to my surprise I really liked.

    5. Making lime-sugar cookies for my writer’s group tonight

    6. Working on chapters in the double digits.

    7. The purple cone flowers don’t smell as sweet as stargazer lilies, but I get to watch bees bumble about them.

  4. Colleen, great news! Stitches out, too! 5K! Those right there are some seriously, truly sincerely fabulous kicks.

    I know you didn’t have breast cancer, but I just have to say this: Recently, on Facebook, Laurel Snyder’s status line was something like, “I hate cancer. I wish it would get run over by a big truck full of drunk breasts.” She must have had a friend or family member get diagnosed. I dunno. But I thought that was great. Leave it to Laurel.

    Good luck, Colleen! We’ll be cheering you on, as you run.

    Jill, I like that poem. And that his dog is named J. Alfred Prufrock. As for “Monday is for drinking to the seldom seen kid”…I was thinking, you know, divorce, this bar he’s frequenting (“There’s a hole in my neighbourhood down which of late I cannot help but fall”), “twisted karaoke at the Aniseed lounge” — that the kid refers to a divorce, a child he seldom sees now, and his life is these bars. I love those lyrics: “Polishing a compass that I hold in my sleep” and “And I’ll bring you further roses, But it does you no good.” AWWWWW. Okay, so I just quoted half the song, and I could be way off on my thoughts, too. I really want their latest CD now. I listened to the other songs on the MySpace page. Good stuff.

    Oh I can’t wait to hear more about your business venture. I’m wondering if it’s what I think it is!

    Jeannine, so good to have you visiting with us on Sundays! Kick #2 — oh you’re going to make me cry. My five-year-old goes to kindergarten next month, and I’ll be a WRECK. Good heavens, when they’re teens, I’ll be a basketcase. And, YES! Jama’s blog is such an inviting wonderful place to be. Have fun at your writer’s group. Save us some cookies.

  5. Lita’s watercolors are fabulous. I am such a softie when a story comes from an actual event. So another book for my to buy list.
    Jules, my stargazer lilies ar blooming now. And they are indeed amazing. Shh…not sure I have completely read Junie B.
    Eisha, don’t ya just love magic dresses?
    Go, Colleen, go..that’s a great kick.
    Jill, your comment and othes makes me want to go to at least one Comi-con.
    Yum and recipe for lime suger cookies, Jeannine.
    My kicks:
    My writing group celebrated a year anniversary of being together.
    Dropped off a baby gift to Laini and Jim yesterday…she is looking close to having a baby! (due Aug 1)
    Hummingbird wars in the backyard
    I think I am finally into Time Traveller’s Wife.
    Blooms on the tomato plants.
    Have a great week…am going to try and stay cool…predicted triple digits here.

  6. Happy Sunday!

    Love Lita’s work and elephants and pennies and the circus. It’s true, you don’t need coffee!! (Well, maybe that’s not possible for Jules, but . . .)

    Stargazer lily = gorgeous. Hand on vase = wonderful. Yay for finally reading a little Junie B. She kinda socks you between the eyes with funny, which is always good.

    Wanna see the magic dress, Eisha!! I bet you twirl around in it and everything. Every time I read McSweeney’s I think of Eisha, because she was my M’s pimp a couple years back when I first started blogging. 🙂

    Yay for Colleen and kicking cancer. Nothing can top that. Good luck on the 5K race. You are amazing!

    Jill, you’ve made me mucho curious about Luce. Must check them out. Hello, fellow insomniac!


    Hee! I’m one of Jeannine’s kicks!! 🙂 I worked hard on that post and still feel I should have done better, but was happy a few folks came by to comment and share the SG love. I always learn something from Jeannine, and now I simply MUST see the musical version of LW.

    Speaking of Jeannine, she failed to mention what should be #1 on her list — she posted about receiving an ARC of her new book, Borrowed Names, which is out next year. Gorgeous cover!

    I know someone who works in a cool library who recently touched a postcard containing a note from Walt Whitman. Mind boggling! Well, now that she’s touched that postcard she’s practically related to him. 🙂

    Received my Grace Lin painting the other day. My first time seeing an original Grace piece in person. *swoon*

    Saw an entire herd of deer in our woods and yard, and the little Bambi guy is now running with the big boys! Used to only see him with his mom, but now he’s playing with deer that have good sized racks.

    Went to a new Farmer’s Market near home, and got a cookbook signed by Preston Maring, who’s a doctor and fresh foods as medicine advocate. Besides beautiful peaches, berries, corn and tomatoes, they had some delicious gluten free muffins and cookies. Had to try those, natch.

    Beatrix Potter’s birthday is on Tuesday. Lurv her.

    Have a good week, everyone.

  7. Wow Jules, thanks for such a wonderful post. You’re right — who needs coffee?

    And thanks everyone for such lovely comments!

    Hi Jeannine!

    I just have 1 huge kick: I’m back in my studio this week!

  8. Lita, it is sooo cool that you went to Europe so many times just for art. :o) The story and illustrations for Pennies for Elephants are loverly. And Yellowstone Moran looks really interesting!

    Jules, I haven’t read any Junie B. Jones books. I have been curious about them though. I trust your taste and you say it is funny so… I will read one as soon as I can!

    Eisha, you are so pretty even without a magic dress. :o)

    Colleen, WOW. Go go go! I’m cheering you on.

    Jill, I wish you all the best for your books side business!

    Jeannine, I look forward to finding out what you think of Twilight. Heeheehee.

    Jone, happy writing group anniversary! And hummingbird wars in your backyard sounds beautiful.

    Jama, I am looking forward to your next post on food in The Secret Garden! Woot woot!!

    Some kicks:

    1. My brothers competed in a national taekwondo tournament today. JP got two gold medals and Brian got one silver medal. :o)

    2. My new bookshelf has been delivered and I have started organizing my books. Fun!

    3. I reunited with my elementary school best friend through Facebook. We’ve started catching up. Man, I love Facebook.

    4. That a lot of people aren’t taking the US cover of Liar by Justine Larbalestier (White cover model for a Black main character WTF WTF WTF). A lot of people are also committing to buying more books with people of color on the cover and reading and reviewing books by and about people of color. Yay, there is hope! :o)

  9. Jone, I was thinking of Laini and Jim yesterday, wondering if that baby was here yet. They’re so close! How thrilling! And I love seeing hummingbirds. Good luck staying cool in the triple-digits. It’s been remarkably cool here in middle Tennessee.

    Jama, if Beatrix Potter’s birthday is Tuesday, I bet that means we might just get treated to a post about her. I still would like to see the movie of her with Renee Zellweger, but I’m scared it will be disappointing (even though I normally enjoy her work as an actress). Have you seen it? And have we already talked about this before?

    And, ooo! I went to read Jeannine’s post, and that book sounds great, based on the title alone. Talking to you all makes my to-be-read pile dangerously high.

    Jama, I wish there were a Farmer’s Market close to us. Hope those cookies were good.

    Lita, thanks for visiting. Are you going to do a post about your ALA adventures?

    Tarie, now, if I were you, I’d be hanging out with my brothers a lot. I know you love them dearly, but, dude, they can also keep you really safe. Bodyguards. With medals for their ability to be taekwondo masters.

    Have fun with your new shelves. And, yeah, I’ve read a bit about Justine’s cover. Gotta over to Colleen’s blog and read some more.

    Thanks for visiting, all.

  10. Sorry I’ve been so absent lately. It’s not even travel – I just haven’t been feeling kick-y for some reason. Bad round of headaches, I guess. And a general feeling that I need to cut back on computer time. But anyway, I’m here today. And I love the elephants. Gorgeous illustrations!

    Jules, I think you talked me into reading that Junie B. Jones book (I must admit to not having read any of the books yet, either). Five year old falling over laughing is a serious recommendation. Eisha, congratulations on the magic dress! Sounds like a real score.

    Colleen, that’s great news about the cancer! That brightens my week. In fact, I’m making it my first kick.

    1. Colleen kicks cancer’s ass.
    2. The Red Sox finally snapped 5-game losing streak this weekend. News transfer got a home run in his first game, too, as an added bonus.
    3. A new restaurant opened up near us, with a New Orleans theme and good food, and we are already regulars. I like to go to a place where they say “hey, welcome back”, you know?
    4. I’m currently addicted to a mystery series (for adults) by Craig Johnson, about a Wyoming sheriff. I think the key is good characters. Sadly, though, only five books published to date, and I’m on #4. Then again, I do need to get back to my review books one of these days.
    5. M and I are thinking of having a movie marathon this afternoon, with mai tais… (OK, he’s napping and I’m thinking about it, but it’s not like he’s going to say “no, that doesn’t sound fun”.)
    6. I got a comment on my blog today from (apparently) an actual teen, talking about her love for one of the books that I had reviewed (Ghost Huntress: Awakening by Marley Gibson.
    7. I’m enjoying listening to the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire books from Audible. A bit racier than I generally like in my audio (where you can’t skim), but I like the voice overall.

    Happy Sunday, all!

  11. Jeannine, ditto Jone on getting that lime sugar cookie recipe. I want one now!

    Jules, I love your interpretation of the Elbow lyrics, and think you are spot-on. Leave it to you to figure that out. And I will burn you their CD if you want – I’m getting into a CD-burning mood.

    Jone, I wish I could send my stargazer lily to you or Jules for resuscitation – the stem is still healthy, but the actual flower fell off. Was it something I said, or in the case of plants, didn’t say?

    Jama, I’m sure you know that insomnia is the inability to sleep until it’s time to get up. Hee. And Beatrix Potter rules! I will watch “Miss Potter” again on Tuesday in her honor. Jules – you MUST see that movie. It’s lovely, at least I think so.

    Tarie, organizing book shelves is one of my favorite things to do – have fun!

    Jen, I hope your headaches get better – I get them with too much computer time also.

    Have a good week!

  12. Jules, the Renee Zellweger movie is lovely. I was a little hesitant about watching it at first, but was pleasantly surprised. Great tea drinking scenes, too.

    Jill, you are SO right about insomnia. 🙂

    Tarie, you sound like a closet librarian what with alphabetizing all your books and all. You’d cringe at my system (by size and aesthetic appearance).

    Hope your headaches go away, Jen. Yum, cajun cooking. And it’s definitely nice to be regulars and welcomed back.

    Jone, jealous of your hummingbirds. Enjoy TTW!

  13. Okay, you all talked me into the movie.

    Jen, I think a movie marathon is a fabulous idea. I hope your headaches go away. Boo to them.

    Tarie, see? I’ve said before: You need that library degree, too.

  14. Good morning, 7-Imps!

    Hello there, Mollie, Waddy, and Tony! How nice to meet these smiling elephants and Lita Judge, their artist. What a great title. Sounds like a sweet story. What a nice variety of stories you have so far, all based on real events to further encourage kids and adults to learn about history!

    Jules: Stargazer lily is a great name. Remind me to check out Matthew’s top tens, please. I like what I’ve heard of Elbow. I am not a Junie fan because I can’t stand malapropisms. Squirrels, however, I greatly enjoy, so I must read Waiting for Winter when it is available.

    Piper’s adorable artwork is now proudly on display at both Bildungsroman & readergirlz! There’s nothing like a T. rex in a sombero, people. NOTHING.

    eisha: Kudos and congrats to your husband! Sounds like an interesting plot. I totally expected the “magic dress” link to tie-in with Wildwood Dancing or costumes or something of that nature. Hee hee.

    GO COLLEEN! You are so strong.

    Jill: Glad that you enjoyed the concert. Best wishes with your bookish business endeavor!

    Jeannine: Good luck with your writing, and your writer’s group. I have yet to see the Little Women musical, but I’d like to, and I’ve only heard one song (Jo’s big solo). I like the original book and the two film adaptations I’ve since, one starring Katharine Hepburn, the other June Allyson.

    Jone: Happy anniversary to your writing group. Good thoughts to Laini, Jim, and the near-future baby! I liked The Time Traveler’s Wife. I hope the movie sticks to the book. Please say hello to the hummingbird for me!

    jama: Hello, deer! Oh, how cute. Happy almost birthday, Beatrix. Yum to the fresh foods.

    Tarie: Congratulations to your brothers. Have fun fixing up that bookshelf. Yay for online reunions. Nod nod re: cover – I can’t believe they did that, and I’m so proud of Justine for speaking up.

    Jen: Enjoy your movie marathon, if and when it happens. 🙂

    My kicks for the past week, in chronological order:

    1) The end of a successful run, and a nice wrap party. The director, the other cast members and I were all lamenting the end even before it came, saying we didn’t want it to end and saying we’d keep in touch. Those things are easy to say, and natural to do so at the end of a project, but this time around, I felt as if people really meant what they said. Everyone was really nice and talented. As always, it will be interesting to see who actually does keep in touch and who truly keeps each other in mind for future projects.

    2) An audition for a national commercial. I didn’t book it, but I was very flattered to have the opportunity, and I had fun at the audition.

    3) A few days later, I shot a local commercial. The experience far exceeded my expectations. It was a blast. They said they’ll provide all of the actors with a copy of the commercial when it’s done.

    4) A few hours later, I auditioned for a film. I made some clear choices for my character, went in, performed the scene, then was given direction and read the scene again in a totally different way. I hope they consider me for the role. I hope they call me.

    5) Doing what needs to be done and getting the ball rolling, professionally and personally.

    6) Letting myself consider the possibilities.

    7) The music player at the 5th Avenue website. 5th Avenue is a professional theatre in Seattle. I’ve never been there; I only recently learned of it because they are premiering the musical Catch Me If You Can starring Norbert Leo Butz and Aaron Tveit, two contemporary musical theatre singers whose voices I greatly enjoy but whose onstage work I’ve yet to see in person. I’m currently listening to this music player, which offers tracks from the original cast and studio recordings. Oh, the overture to On the Town makes me so happy.

    Overtures make me really happy. I think that’s when you know you’re in store for a real, full-out musical: when there’s an overture. That’s how I felt during every single performance of Gypsy. Places were called, then we’d step on stage, hidden by the plush maroon velvet curtains. When the overture would begin, the girl playing my younger sister and I would look at each other, and we’d be smiling so hard you’d think our faces would break.

    Tomorrow’s the first read-through for the new play in which I’ve been cast. Straight play, not musical – historical setting, based on real events, but with a modern way of storytelling – so I look forward to seeing what the director does with it, and fitting into the other cast member, some of whom I’ve worked with before!

  15. Okay, so here’s the dress:


    See? Nothing fancy. I certainly had no idea I was purchasing a dress of supernatural powers, I just thought it looked practical for work. That’s magic for you. And yes, I will admit to some discreet twirling.

    Colleen, your kick just rocketed to the top of my list. WAHOOO!!!! Congrats!

    Jill, never apologize to Jules or me for ranting about good music. We’re all pots and kettles here. Also, that poem? Astounding.

    Jeannine, ain’t Jama something? And I’ll join the chorus of people who want the recipe for those cookies. No, actually, what I want is for you to make those cookies and bring them over. I’ll make tea.

    jone, when you say “hummingbird wars” I immediately picture little armed troops of tiny birds, flying in formation, dropping touch-me-not pods for bombs… Anyway, I’m glad to year your tomatoes are flowering – I am DESPERATE for some home grown tomatoes up here. This spring has apparently been too cold and wet for them.

    jama, happy to be your McS’s pimp. I take payment in all forms of baked goods. (Geez, am I hungry today, or what?) Also, “good-sized racks” made me giggle like a 5th grader.

    Lita, big thanks to you for your lovely art and stories!

    Tarie! *blush* You sweetie! Thank you! And congrats to your brothers (hey, I can literally say they KICK ASS), and I second your cheer for Facebook.

    Jen, whoa. An actual teen? That’s unheard of. I hope your headaches are all gone. Certainly an afternoon of movies and mai tais should help.

  16. Need I point out that the picture is not of ME in the dress? I’m about as tall as one of that model’s calves.

  17. Little Willow, sorry that spam got your kicks. I just saved them.

    I really, really, really, really, really, really love the story in the second paragraph of kick #7. That joy of being about to go on stage. I hope we get to see your commercial later, and best of luck with the film audition.

    Can’t wait to go see Piper’s art. Thanks for the heads-up.

  18. Jules and Jama, when I was a little girl, I would pretend that my private collection of books was a library. Whenever someone wanted to borrow books, they had to “check” them out. I tried making little library cards too, and thought about charging late fees. But I was afraid my friends would think I was crazy.

  19. Little Willow, I hope that someday I can watch you perform live!!! For now, I can settle with watching you in that commercial. :o)

  20. Little Willow, that last kick really is beautiful. Actually, the first one is too. Those theatrical experiences – where everyone is talented, everyone gets along and does their part to the best of their ability – are so RARE. Enjoy it!

  21. Hey, y’all. New Kick That I Just Found:

    Look at the photograph on this photographer’s home page. I just discovered it, while working on a post for tomorrow.

    I love that photograph.

  22. Wow, so many lists! I’ll have to come back and read them again – and look more closely at the illustrations too.

    Jules, I never knew those flowers were called stargazer lillies. Even if they have a different name here I am now adopting the US one as it is so pretty.

    Eisha, finding the perfect dress is no mean feat. Maybe you should buy a second one in case this one wears out.

    Congrats on kicking cancer’s butt, Colleen. That’s the best type of news.

    Jama, I love that we’re getting updates on the baby deer. Maybe when he grows his own rack of antlers you can post a pic!

    Little Willow, your lists are always like a glimpse into a different world full of interesting things like auditions and dancing on stage.

    1. During the week I took the afternoon off and went to Oxford to meet an internet friend from North Carolina for the first time in real life! I also got to catch up with other internet friends from the UK. It was a great afternoon, though flew by far too fast!
    2. It was fun seeing Oxford again, especially as a friend got us into Keble College where we were lucky enough to have the librarian show us their old manuscripts. Lovely!
    3. I found out just in time that there was a coach to Oxford that took less time than the train and was less than half the price! Not just good news for me but also for future visitors who can now catch a bus into the middle of Oxford, which should cut down on worry about getting lost etc.
    4. It my birthday during the week! I got breakfast in bed, lots of parcels from family and friends and went out for drinks after work with some mates. When we moved here almost 2 years ago I wouldn’t have thought I’d know so many people in the area.
    5. I made a carrot cake to take into work. Very yummy as I got the cream cheese frosting just right.
    6. I got a tent and assorted camping equipment for my birthday, so yesterday we headed up to the Derbyshire Dales for the night. We stayed on a lovely farm where we could sit outside the tent and watch the swallows dart around the pastures.
    7. It rained today (lovely to hear rain on the tent roof but less fun when packing) but we headed off to Lyme Park (Pemberly in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice) and the rain stopped in time for us to enjoy wandering the fantastic gardens, and interesting house. They have just started displaying the 15th century Missal, and accompanied it with this great computer program that lets you virtually leaf through it and magnify bits, listen to any music that’s written out and translate bits of text (like handwritten anotations). I could have stayed there all day.

  23. I also liked Miss Potter. Never mind a few silly moments, it’s worth it for the scenery alone. And while I can’t claim to have ever handled any Whitman or E.B. White documents (I wish!) some years ago I did visit the Eric Carle museum to see the Potter show, and a staffer told me Renee Zellweger had visited the day before. That was being pretty close to fame, I thought, and was assured the actress was seriously informed about her subject.

    I really do wish I could send Lime Sugar Cookies, which I’ve been over-indulging in here. They are a bit crunchy with the corneal, but mostly soft as I think a cookie should be, and that summery kick of lime. The recipe:
    Lime Sugar Cookies
    2 cups flour
    ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
    ½ teaspoon salt
    6 tablespoons butter
    6 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
    2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    one large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3 tablespoons grated lime peel (about three decent sized limes)

    Whisk together dry ingredients, flour through salt. Beat together everything else, then, at low speed, beat in flour mixture until combined. Cover and refrigerate one hour or more. Heat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with foil. Shape dough into balls and roll these in some sugar on a plate or waxed paper. Put on cookie sheet. Press each ball with a bottom of a glass to flatten. Bake about 12 minutes.

  24. Quiet week, but that can be good! Love the kicks here today.
    1) Tackling painting the bathroom by myself-I feel so great about finally learning to do a real thing.
    2) Getting my Horn Book magazine with the speeches by the award winners in it, always an awesome issue, authors & artists amaze me!
    3) Today is birthday day for my sister, she is an awesome lady and now she is almost as old as me (we’re 16 mos. apart).
    4) Finally finding out the name of an actor that amazed me in a PBS Masterpiece Contemporary series called “The Last Enemy”. It was about govt. intrusion on privacy, set in the near future and very freaky/scary. He was in a recent episode of Masterpiece Mystery and so I could finally track down his name. I want to start an American fan club for him, cause he is so good and his name is an awesome British name–it’s Benedict Cumberbatch!! He deserves a fan club just because of the name. Maybe someday I can see him in something with Little Willow!
    5) Elephants!! My favorite animal. True family story–my dad lived in a very small town when he was young and when the circus came to town he volunteered to muck out the elephant area just so he could be close to them. I have to get this book–the artwork is wonderful and sounds like the story is too–love historical moments like that!
    6) Junie B. memories. When the books first came out I brought a couple home from my library to read and was laughing so hard with tears my jr. hi son wanted to know what it was. After that I had to bring each new one home for him to read–a jr. hi boy!! I love an author who truly remembers how kids think and one who can write a female main character boys will read. My boys at school love her books too!
    7) No. 2 grandson turns 2 this week and he is an on the go, but mellow kid who always cracks me up! I love this age!
    *Bonus–love that Jen R loves mysteries, there is not always a crossover w/kidlit lovers and mysteries–it is one of the things that got me excited about her site. Craig Johnson is an awesome author.
    **Not so kicky–I go back to work Weds. and it is supposed to be 107 degrees f. So I’ll have to be outside at a time I can usually avoid! Sometimes the district forgets to turn the library A/C back on, too–but then I’ll just have to leave for medical reasons. I do like my job, just hard to do so early in the summer. It’s much more fun when the kids are there a couple of weeks later!

  25. I enjoyed reading everyone’s kicks and want to wish you all an invigorating week. Thanks for posting the Apollo 11 transcript, too. I confess that I have never read a Junie B. Jones book all the way through. I stopped on page 3 of the Stinky Smelly Bus and never looked back.

    I’ve decided that as an adult, I’m going to do something about my math mis-education and work through the brain-freeze to some sort of math enlightenment. I’m not promising to spend 10 years on a theorem or count the Fibonacci sequence in my sleep, but I’d like to be comfortable enough with fractions and percentages that I don’t go numb in the grocery aisles when comparing prices. I allowed my math phobia to keep me from a number of potential careers. I am determined that my daughter will have a more fulfilling math experience than I did.


  26. The best thing I have read from the blog world today is Colleen kicking cancer…WA-HOO as my UVA graduate daughter would scream out loudly! So that has to be the first kick:

    1. Colleen and the ass kicking of the cancer!
    2. Spent last weekend and into the first of the week with my grandson, age 3 1/2 months. Wow, for once in my life words fail me, I have to learn new superlatives for “grandmother use.”
    3. Learning about YELLOWSTONE MORAN and Lita’s beautiful watercolors. I started a tradition of giving each of my great nieces and great nephews and now my grandson William a book a month for the first year of life and not all the books are for reading now. I will give YELLOWSTONE MORAN to William in the fall to commemorate a trip his mother and I made to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone for her 21st birthday 8 years ago.
    4.Reading SOLD. What a haunting experience it was reading this book…
    5. Having fun as I read WHEN YOU REACH ME.
    6. Making vacation plans for Croatia in August.
    7. A gift of homegrown tomatoes to go with basil I myself grew on the ledge “patio” and some incredible cheese another friend brought me. Oh, how i miss having a real yard where I can grow more things of my own!

    I hope everyone has a terRIFic week (could not resits the RIF)!

  27. jules! I love that photograph too! So pretty.

    emmaco, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Your week sounds spectacular, what with the manuscripts and Lyme Park and the carrot cake. That Missal program is the bomb.

    Jeannine – what a great story. I’m pleased RZ took that kind of time for research.

    Andrea – you’re kidding. Benedict Cumberbatch? That sounds like a Dickens character. Some sort of kindly but clueless uncle-type. I love that your dad was willing to shovel elephant poo, and that your son enjoyed Junie B.

    Farida – whoa. That’s a goal and a half. I’m impressed and a little scared of you.

  28. Emmaco, happy birthday again, and I’m glad it sounds like you celebrated all week. I read that Missal link. Now, that just HAD to be great to see. And listening to rain is one of my favorite things. Breakfast in bed, too.

    Jeannine, thank you for taking the time to type that out. Mmm. I just might try to make those.

    Andrea, Benedict Cumberbatch. See? I’m just saying it, because you’re right. It’s a great and wonderful couple of words. Benedict Cumberbatch. And happy birthday to your grandson! And, oh heavens, I hope they remember to turn your library A/C on.

    Farida, I take it you didn’t care for Junie. Heh. Being wished an “invigorating week” is a nice blessing. I like that. And, hey, I like your math kick. I have said that to myself before, but not gotten far. I’m THAT bad at math. But I’d also like to not freeze up when comparing prices. My mother-in-law taught geometry for years (taught it to high schoolers), and she tries to make sure I don’t bad-mouth math around my girls. If I’m not careful, I’ll start talking about how much I hate it.

    Carol, hope you’re going to a make tomato/basil/mozzarella salad, my favorite! Mmm…I also loved Sold. Blew me away. Croatia! That sounds fun. I miss travelling.

  29. Carol, oh! Tomatoes and basil! The best flavor combo ever invented. I love your book-giving tradition. And I’m pretty sure I’ve never read the phrase “vacation plans for Croatia” before – you must tell us all about it when you get back. With pics, please.

  30. Hey Y’all–

    I have been reading but not posting lately. Have any of you moved before? OMG!!!! Why didn’t you tell me that donating bone marrow is much more pleasant! Curses!

    Lita! First of all, what a great name. It is curt yet sexy. Rock it. Your watercolors are excellent. Your use of color is hella wise. The color amongst sepia is smart— helps me appreciate the color more. I love the couple with dog– they totally look alike. Owners morphing into spitting images of their dogs— that’s the kind of patriotism I can dig.

    I am not going to list my kicks of seven today– rather rant instead.

    Moving next week. Ahhh! Graduate school begins August 25th. I shot a wedding two weekends ago, and sold 3 photographs. I have taken a huge step back in time— I’m now shooting 120 film in a medium-format camera. (Hassleblad, for those who know a thing or three) Had a moving away BBQ yesterday— why do people thing it is amusing to offer the vegetarian meat? Ahhh the South!


  31. Jeffrey, why can’t we be neighbors — or at least colleagues again? I mean, you’re not only getting my dream linguistics degree, but you make me laugh. I hope in one of your linguistics courses you dissect the word “hella.” I hope there’s an entire course about it.

    Good luck with the move. YOU MUST KNOW that I want regular updates on your studies. I saw your post on Facebook—or FB, as the kewl kids say—about your textbooks for this semester. They made me drool in jealousy. Great jealousy.

    I think my girls are nearly vegatarians. Ada turned down hot dogs at her Parents’ Day Out the other day. Just on principle. We eat the bogus hot dogs, but the school offered the real kind. Fortunately, when she turned them down with her head held high, she made her teachers laugh. With her. Not at her. Hey, she’s 3. It was cute as hell.

    Anyway, again: Good luck with moving. The actual transfer of THINGS really does bite the big one, but you have a great adventure ahead of you. Now I sound like that animated Hobbit film from when I was, like, 7. “The greatest adventure is what lies ahead…” Sing in a wobbly voice.

  32. The Kicks are so overwhelming when I look at them this late in the day. I read everything and my mind gets thinking and then by the time I get to the bottom, I’ve forgotten what I read at the top.

    Jules, My co-children’s-librarian, Jason, says that I am Junie B. Jones.

    Eisha, I love magic dresses!

    Farida, You go with that math! A lot of my problem with math is that I have to, have to, have to sit down with paper and a writing implement and take some time to figure it out. I think the thing that killed me in school was how much I had to do under pressure.

    Little Willow, Yay to possibilities!

    I am too wrung out to list kicks today, but I find myself at the end of the weekend feeling a lot of general goodwill. It’s been a nice week full of my favorite things–friends, family, food, good books (the ARC of Going Bovine by Libba Bray for one–brilliant!). Now it’s time for a yawn and a stretch and then off to bed.

  33. Thanks for everyone’s fond wishes – much appreciated. I am now the proud owner of a scar on my forehead but it looks like it will slowly fade away a bit. Until then I juggle being honest and wanting to tell some huge bar fight story.

    I can’t begin to tell you what a big struggle this is. If I was a better person I probably wouldn’t even be tempted with embellishing…. 🙂

    (And don’t even ask about the scar on my calf…but I choose to refer to that as a runner’s injury. Much Much MUCH sexier than this flipping cell eating disease).

    Laurel Snyder is my hero, by the way.

    I shall report back next week on the 5K!

  34. jules: Thanks for saving my kicks from Spamland. That was a fun show. It was a fully enjoyable experience and a truly professional production. That photograph is lovely. Thanks for sharing it. I just finished a great book in which the main character played the accordion: Girl to the Core by Stacey Goldblatt. Realistic fiction, YA.

    Tarie: When I was a kid, my giving nature would want to lend out my books, but they were so precious to me that I feared people would damage or lose them, so I couldn’t bring myself to let people borrow them! I have established a lending library at my workplace so that kids may check out books whenever they want.

    eisha and Tarie: Thanks for the commercial wishes. Crossed fingers for good things to come of it, and for the acquisition of the promised copy!

    eisha: Extremely rare. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of that. Now I’m concurrently singing “A Part of That” from The Last Five Years and saying, “RARE!” a la Judy MOody.

    emmaco: HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! Oh, I’m sorry that I didn’t know in advance and thus didn’t wish you happiness on the exact date, but I hope you had a blast. Glad that timing and scheduling worked out for you, and that your worry was reduced. Thank you for the kind words about my lists. I don’t blog about it often because I’m such a worrywart about privacy and jinxing, so I look forward to sharing things here on Sundays.

    Jeannine: Always nice when someone does the research!

    Andrea M.: Happy birthday to your sister. Congrats on the painting o’ the lavatory. I have to go look Benedict up now… I checked out his IMDb and Wikipedia pages, then found this on YouTube – he and others discussing a book. Have you read The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti? The main character works with elephants at the local zoo. It’s my favorite Caletti novel to date. Please stay hydrated on Wednesday. I hope you are safe and healthy on a regular basis, of course, but especially if you’re outside in that condition. Insist that they make it so for the health of all employees.

    Farida: That is quite admirable. GO YOU.
    (Fibonacci = fun times.)

    Rasco: Sold is powerful. Have a fun and safe trip next month. Mmm, tomatoes.

    Jeffrey: Best wishes with the move. It sounds like you’ve had a busy month, and will have another next! Yuck to the folks offering you meat if they knew you’re vegetarian. It’s one thing if they don’t know – that’s okay and understandable – but if they know, it’s not the same thing.


    Adrienne: It’s all about seeing the possibilities. Finding them, seeing them, pursuing them, believing in them, creating them, following through. Glad that you had such a happy, full week.

    Thanks for everyone’s fond wishes – much appreciated. I am now the proud owner of a scar on my forehead but it looks like it will slowly fade away a bit. Until then I juggle being honest and wanting to tell some huge bar fight story.


  35. Adrienne, you and Junie. I see that. I really do (though I’ve only read one book). Glad you had a fulfilling week.

    Colleen, I vote for the bar fight story. Or, you know, the truth and then mix things up a bit sometimes with some tale of a fight in some seedy dive somewhere.

    Little Willow, I think you said you don’t sleep a lot, but since I’m signing off after midnight, sweet dreams!

  36. Jules: Thank you. Hope you had a good night’s sleep as well. 🙂 I wish I got 8 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis, as I should.

  37. Was away for the weekend; just wanted to stop in and reiterate how much I look forward to reading the Sunday 7-Kicks posts here, and the amazing comments. Hard not to leave the page without your head and heart bursting, y’know?

  38. John, I think I knew you were at the beach. Otherwise, as always, I would have worried that you had an unkicky week. I do this. I try not to bug people with emails, asking them, but I just hope they come back and say that, you know, they were otherwise waylaid and NOT that life was being particularly unkicky to them.

    Hope you had a good time.

  39. Jules and Eisha (and also anyone else who thinks that Eisha’s magic dress, even on a pixie, might be the only unforgettable librarian’s garb of the year): if you haven’t seen it already, I offer you this video of the championship Book Cart Drill Team at ALA this year. Yowza.

  40. Just wanted to come back to say thanks for the anti-headache wishes. Today is better. But I remain in this cycle where they come back at the drop of a hat. Allergies, maybe? I don’t know. But coming here definitely helps!! As did watching two movies while drinking mai-tais yesterday afternoon, and leaving the computer off from noon onward.

    And LW, I look forward to seeing you featured in national commercials, one day, and more.

  41. Happy late kicks-day! Just flying by to wish everyone a great week – love the elephants!

    The water struck a chord – Saturday was a 7 mile hike at Silver Falls, with LOTS of waterfalls! Very nice in this heat….

    Jen – have you tried acupuncture for the headaches? My BFF in law school had miserable migraines, but acupuncture made them disappear. Wishing you and everyone a headache free week!

  42. Jen, glad that movies and mai-tais helped. And I’ve never tried acupuncture, but I hear as many good things about it from people as RM is saying here.

    Hi, RM! A 7-mile hike sounds good for the soul.

    John, ah, those warrior librarians. I think I need a breastplate like that. And was that Mo Willems emceeing? Couldn’t understand a word, but it sounded like him, and I think he and Sciesczka did it last year??

  43. The upside of posting on a Monday is that I get to read everyone’s fabulous kicks. The downside is that there are so many fabulous kicks that I can not possibly comment on all of them, so let me just say that I get all warm and fuzzy inside when I read all the wonderful happenings.

    My kicks this week:

    1 – I got to see Half Blood Prince in a deserted movie theatre on a Thursday afternoon – what a treat (both the movie and the experience).
    2 – My brother-in-law and his wife are visiting from New Jersey.
    3 – Seeing Ruby climb into her grandaddy’s lap so he would read to her.
    4 – Making yellow buttermilk cupcakes with burnt sugar icing from Martha Stewart’s new cupcake book. Yummy.
    5 – Finally deciding on a paint color for our kitchen/dining room, hallway and bedroom.
    6 – Buying two magic dresses and a magic skirt for myself.
    7 – Getting ready for kindergarten on Wednesday.

    Have a great week.

  44. Zoe, cupcakes! We’re making peanut butter cookies now. My family who is CRAZY don’t find them to be the most supreme kind of cookie, as I do, but we’re making them anyway. It was my idea, but somehow they went for it.

    I still can’t believe Cy will be in Kindergarten NEXT WEEK.

    Have fun with your visitors…

  45. Jeffrey, you have all my sympathy. Moving makes me start thinking that just burning the old place down and starting over with all new stuff is a good idea. It reduces me to a quivering useless teary mess all curled-up fetal on the kitchen floor. Good luck, and godspeed.

    adrienne, dang it, you keep talking that book up and I DON’T HAVE A COPY YET. I may have to take drastic measures to get my mitts on it soon.

    JES, hey! Who you callin’ pixie? (she demands, arms akimbo, as she looks up-UP-UP to try to see who’s talking)

    rm – ooh! Waterfalls and hiking are a lovely combo.

    Zoe, I swear, I just had to wipe a little drool from my keyboard over those cupcakes. And that bit about Ruby pleases me no end. And now I’m feeling inadequate because I only have ONE magic dress. You need to take me shopping.

  46. […] since I decided to purchase it as a birthday gift for my husband. (Remember the video I posted in these kicks?) And it’s mighty, mighty good music, my […]

  47. […] already mentioned this back in July, but Waiting for Winter, I promise, is like no other picture book you’ve seen all year. The […]

  48. […] isn’t Lita’s first visit to 7-Imp (see here and here), but it’s a treat to have her sit down at the breakfast table today. I do quite a […]

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