7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #143: Featuring Jon J. Muth and Melissa Sweet (& a New 7-Imp Mad Tea Party Image!)

h1 November 29th, 2009 by jules

“Suddenly, a warm tingling spreads from his whiskers to his soles. And around him, the night begins to thrum with magic, the kind of magic that makes reindeer fly.”
(Click to enlarge spread.)

Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, a 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.

I guess whether we’re ready for it or not, the holiday season has descended upon us. I have to say that this time of year is particularly exciting with young children. In celebration, I’ve got some holiday illustrations today. Above is a spread from the talented Lauren Thompson’s The Christmas Magic (Scholastic, September 2009), illustrated by Jon J. Muth. I’ve been a long-time fan of Muth, and he was the perfect choice for illustrating this enchanting title. And I’ve also got some spreads from David Martin’s Hanukkah Lights (Candlewick, September 2009), illustrated by Melissa Sweet:

(Click to enlarge spread.)

Hanukkah Lights is a wee board book, and Martin and Sweet also collaborated on this companion board book, called Christmas Tree, also released by Candlewick. Both of Martin’s and Sweet’s titles celebrate the joys of each holiday and include simple concepts perfectly suited to the wee’est of children. Melissa’s pencil and watercolor illustrations are bright and happy. The School Library Journal review writes, “In both books, it is the clever illustrations with their sunny colors, charming compositions, and multicultural casts of characters that really shine, making these titles satisfying choices.” I love Sweet’s work, and she will be stopping by 7-Imp some time in the near future for a breakfast chat (though nothing will ever top Jama’s detailed and wonderful April ’09 interview).

Here are two more illustrations from the Hanukkah title. They actually comprise one spread from the book. Click on each to see the spread in its entirety:

As for Thompson’s tale, which is all about Santa’s preparations for the holiday, this isn’t your loud, ho-ho-ho’ing, jolly Santa with the bright red suit. This is a more subdued Santa—not yet hitched, living alone in the woods—who WEARS BUNNY SLIPPERS. (This is my favorite part, so I’m yelling it.) Because I’m a review-reading nerd, I’ll share how David Barringer put it in the New York Times. Plus, he nails it, so why mess with perfection?

…{T}he water­color illustrations are glowing and pure and nostalgic. Tree boughs are light in cottony mittens of snow, and in the middle of a snowy field glows a humble yellow house with a red door and a smoking chimney: Santa’s house. The story, however, brings a twist to tradition.

This Santa differs from the usual rotund elf: he is thinner, more human, with a pointy mustache. With Christmas on the way, Santa, like a gentleman farmer, gets to work. He calls the reindeer, feeds them, struggles to push open a huge barn door and readies the sleigh in the barn, which, with a workbench and tools, looks like a garage. Santa oils boots, knits stockings and trims his mustache. He is a bachelor living alone in the woods — no Mrs. Claus, no elves, no factory. He is an at-home Claus, elf-employed and as content as Thoreau.

It’s a charming conceit, this stripped-down Santa. If he were to steer his sleigh into a nearby village, hop out and distribute toys, the conceit would be taken to a pleasant kind of logical end. The “magic,” however, grabs the reins and returns the story to a more familiar course. There is the impossibly large sack of toys for every child in the world, and the sleigh, pulled by flying reindeer, rising into the starry sky. The story ends with liftoff.

It’s a curious tale. The prose is as spartan as this new Santa, and the watercolor art is inviting, rich and warmly wintery, with the soft edges that artists love to impart to children’s sugarplum dreams. The transformation of Santa from chubby C.E.O. to single guy with a barn is welcome and endearing.

Let’s just let the art and text do the talking now. These two illustrations also come from one spread. (Again, click to enlarge and see the entire spread.) The moustache-trimming is my favorite.

Toward the book’s close, we’re treated to this beautiful spread, one of many:

“With a shake of the reins, Santa calls to his team: ‘Hie! Let’s be off!’ The reindeer pull hard at the harness, and the bells begin to jingle.”
(Click to enlarge.)

That Jon J. His art work makes me swoon a lot.

Isn’t all this art just wonderful? I always look forward to new holiday illustrated titles. I can’t help myself.

* * * * * * *

Boring But Very Necessary Copyright Info Before Kickin’:

HANUKKAH LIGHTS. Text copyright © 2009 by David Martin. Illustrations copyright © 2009 by Melissa Sweet. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

THE CHRISTMAS MAGIC. Text copyright © 2009 by Lauren Thompson. Illustrations copyright © 2009 by Jon J. Muth. Published by Scholastic Press, New York, NY.

* * * Jules’ kicks * * *

1). Giving thanks. Honestly, my Thanksgiving with extended family is annually rife with dysfunction. But then I know many people suffer this. And, as Jon J. Muth has at his site (if he’s new to you, I implore you to go explore!), I’m still “astonished at my good fortune.” I hope all of you (American readers) had good Thanksgivings.

2). The Thanksgiving meal my husband cooked.

3). Especially the fudge pie.

4). See this?

It was created specifically for 7-Imp by illustrator and cartoonist Dan Krall. He sent this a while ago, actually, and my husband, 7-Imp’s tech support, finally found some time to work it into the header of another page at the blog — in my continuing efforts to collect Mad Tea Party images. It’s now at this page. You like? I think it’s quite unlike any other Mad Tea Party image created thus far for the blog, and I like the March Hare’s over-the-top lunacy, as in he just had some crazy for breakfast. Also I think the Mad Hatter needs to find the nearest dentist after their little shindig. I also love the colors. Many, many thanks to Dan Krall for this contribution. (If anyone’s interested, here it is up close and personal.)

5). So, okay. I think I talked about this last week. (Or two weeks ago? Whatever. This’ll be the last time I mention it. Promise.) But HBO’s Deadwood, which we’re watching on DVD. This week, my husband and I had to pause the DVD during one episode, seeing as how all our laughing at one of Calamity Jane’s lines was keeping us from hearing further dialogue. (She gets the best lines of all.) Then, we had to rewind and watch it with captioning, just to appreciate it in all its glory.

Jane has just wandered off from the camp again, and if she doesn’t come back, I’m gonna be sad. (Then again, the creators of the show seem to have great disregard for the normal “rules” of killing off major characters, so I’m nervous.)

Such a great character. Such great acting from Robin Weigert.

6). Even if Santa brings me coal in my stocking, my holiday is SET with Sam Phillips’ new Christmas EP and its wonderful jangly guitars and the gifted Jay Bellerose on drums. It’s called “Cold Dark Night,” and each song is about night in some way. Her rendition of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” may quite possibly be the most beautiful thing she’s ever done. She shifts the song to a minor key (BRILLIANT), and it just. slays. me. She originally did this rendition way back as the song that plays during the final credits of an anti-war movie called Midnight Clear, and I’ve had this scratchy, lousy, barely-there copy on a CD for years. Her decision to re-record it makes us Geeky Fans very happy, indeed. This little YouTube thingy gives a sample of each song on the EP:

7). Surely, I’m being redundant and you’ve seen this. Two different sites I saw today (one popular yet one obscure) suggested I watch this. So, I did. And I laughed. Sorry if it’s a repeat for you, but I suppose it’s only even more enjoyable the second time ’round:

* * * * * * *

How ’bout you? What are YOUR kicks this week?

25 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #143: Featuring Jon J. Muth and Melissa Sweet (& a New 7-Imp Mad Tea Party Image!)”

  1. Hurrah for another mad teaparty image! Thank you, Dan Krall. I am here on the early side again because otherwise I end up posting a day late. Kicks in brief:

    1. One of my short stories will be published online in the new fairy tale journal Enchanted Conversation this January.

    2. Family flew in from Maryland and New York to visit with us for Thanksgiving week.

    3. My daughter made a sign for our door that said, “If you are the Queen of the Night Come In” (i.e. the character from The Magic Flute).

    4. I got to have a cream bun at Uwajimaya last Sunday. If you’ve never had a cream bun, you’ll want to go to a place that specializes in Chinese baked goods and ask for one. Have a cup of tea handy, because it is rich but not overly sweet. I get to have a cream bun every few years.

    5. Rhubarb compote in winter.

    6. People said nice things on my Facebook update when I told them about the short story (see #1).

    7. I’m pretty fortunate, you know?

  2. Oh my! What a perfect way to start the day. Jon J. Muth and Melissa Sweet in the same post!? Both books look wonderful — swooning over the Hanukkah feast and Santa darning his socks. Been a big fan of Jon J. ever since Zen Shorts, and Melissa, well, I’ve said many times how much I love love love her art. Thanks for the interview link, Jules! Can’t wait to read your breakfast chat with her.

    Jules, were you the one who said you hadn’t seen the “Gilmore Girls?” I’ve been watching episodes on DVD and every time I hear Sam Phillips in the background I think of you. If you haven’t watched the series yet, you MUST make it a priority this winter. Love the new tea party image!

    Congratulations again, Farida, on the story sale! So happy for you and can’t wait to read it!! Love your daughter’s door sign :).


    Thanksgiving, of course. This year, Len and I cooked dinner and took it over to some friends who were feeling under the weather. They were SO pleased and we made sure they had lots of leftovers to last them a few days.

    Chocolate pecan pie.

    Had another foodgasm yesterday at Good Stuff Eatery in DC (another Obama haunt). Dem’s mighty fine burgers.

    Have almost all my Christmas shopping done. This is a huge relief for me, but I won’t be able to fully start celebrating the season until all my gifts are shipped out. It’s a big production number which, honestly, I dread more and more each year. Yeah, call me Scrooge.

    Flannel sheets on my comfortable bed.

    I’m thankful for all the fabulous blog friends who kick here every Sunday.

    Happy Holidays!

  3. Farida, I’m very excited about your story! I love the sign on your daughter’s door. Has the Queen of the Night entered yet?

    Jama, you’re right: I haven’t seen The Gilmore Girls yet, but many friends, like you, have said they liked the show and, of course, I have lots of Sam “la la”s left to hear! Thanks for the reminder.

    Sounds like you both had a good Thanksgiving. Jama, very nice of you to feed your ailing friends, and congrats on almost being done with shopping. I know shipping is not a simple task for you.

    Flannel sheets. Color me jealous.

  4. No one can swoon quite like Jama, so let me just say I’m with her on Melissa Sweet and Jon Muth admiration. Fabulous news, Farida, about the story publication and the sign-making daughter.
    I had a lovely week starting with what-I’m-calling-finishing a novel, just in time to pull together Thanksgiving: the fridge is still pretty full and today lunch will be the chai butternut squash soup a friend brought: I think the vanilla brings this over the top. Jules, I know a bit about extended family dysfunction, and am lucky that chai-squash-soup making friend is also a yoga teacher. Let the barbed words fly! Somehow Jess knows how to bounce them off her limber self and save us all.

    Okay, I think stuffing a manuscript in an envelope and full fridge counts for seven kicks. Next Sunday I’ll be reading but probably won’t take the time to post as friends will gather in the afternoon for eating cookies and making wreaths. My clipper-wielding walks start today.

  5. Must order those two books today! Wow! I always love the art of Jon Muth and just the idea of Santa darning is socks, aww. And the Sweet’s illustrations are delightful. My niece is converting and I have wanted to send her something for Hanukkah.
    Jules, love, love, love the new header! And the Muppets, singing Bohemian Rhapsody? Hilarious. I about fell on the floor. I doubt you will find coal in your stocking this year.
    Farida, congrats again on being published. Can’t wait to read the issue. And to have family visit, how lovely.
    Jama, do you have a good recipe for chocolate pecan pie? We were just talking about pecan pie on Thanksgiving Day. Sounds yummy.
    My kicks:
    1. Thanksgiving with my family. My daughter and husband cooked. It was a real treat.
    2. The new auction for Bridget and Barrett is off to a good start, organized by her good friend in Wisconsin. I have a post at my blog about it.
    3. The weather has been terrific. Got our small amount of lights up.
    4. The Celtic Christmas concert Chuck and I attended last night. A wonderful blend of voices, instruments, and 70 dozen cookies…a free event.This is their website:http://whisperingroses.net/default.aspx
    5. Initiated a friend into the world of Twilight by seeing New Moon.
    6. Finished the book, Oxygen, by Seattle author, Carol Cassella. A fabulous thriller about the world of medicine. Could not put it down. Book club talks about it tonight.
    7. I, too, am thankful for this wonderful Sunday community of sharing.
    Have a great week.

  6. Jeannine, congrats on finishing! That’s gotta feel good. May I borrow your yoga teacher friend for next Thanksgiving’s visits?

    Have fun next Sunday!

    Jone, I still haven’t read Twilight or any of the books. I’m very behind.

    Glad you got to kick back and relax on Thanksgiving, and Whispering Roses sounds beautiful.

  7. Jules! Thank you so much for those beautiful holiday illustrations. Happy Holidays!

    And wow, fudge pie and a funny new Mad Tea Party image!

    Jama, I love Gilmore Girls!

    Farida, congratulations!!!

    Jeannine, congratulations too!!! And an afternoon of eating cookies and making wreaths sounds wonderful.

    Jone, are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?


    1. My mom. :o)

    2. My mom making hot chocolate from scratch. She got cacao beans from a farm in her hometown, had them roasted, ground them…

    3. Friends.

    4. Werewolves. Especially Jacob Black. * heart *

    5. Patient, understanding, sympathetic, empathetic, intelligent managers.

    6. My brothers are in Egypt to represent the Philippines in another taekwondo competition. First thing they did was visit the pyramids and the Sphinx!

    7. I reveal a sooper sekrit project here: http://tinyurl.com/ybo3ghk.

  8. Whoops, that link appears to be broken. Try this:


  9. Whoa, The Christmas Magic looks like one very cool book! Love the young reindeer sleeping at his (crossed!) bare feet, like a yellow Labrador. And the fact that he’s got one of his socks hanging from the mantelpiece, as if to suggest the tradition started (maybe it did?) all because Santa used to wash out his socks and hang them there to dry after darning.

    In Hanukkah Lights, I noticed something in the second illustration — the one with the boy and girl on opposite sides of, uh, cake stand (?): the use of small numbers of “things” everywhere: 3 brocolli florets; 6 stalks of celery; 5 pieces of fruit on the cake stand, plus 3-4 (walnuts?), 9 red grapes, 14 (!) green grapes, 5 stars on the little boy’s mug, etc. etc. You get the point. I wonder if there’s some unspoken children’s-book-illustrator rule about not overwhelming wee minds with large quantities?

    The new tea-party header will say to anybody who sees it that this is one kickin’ place to visit. The March Hare is mad wonderful — love the way he’s doing the little twirl-the-index finger next to his temple, like he’s saying You DO know the Hatter is nuts, right?!?.

    But you do know, don’t you, that if you get many more of those header images, you’ll have to create whole new pages to hold them all?

    Jules, I’ve wanted to see Deadwood since it first came on, especially with the Sopranos winding down at the same time — seemed like perfect timing, no? Alas, no HBO, so we had to wait for the DVDs… which have been out for a while, just haven’t slotted them into the viewing schedule yet. Your and Blaine’s thumbs-up seals the deal as far as I’m concerned.

    Midnight Clear is an outstanding (anti)war film. Characteristically, I didn’t know Sam did the closing title song; will have to give that a listen. (My favorite rendition of that song was probably the one by The Roches.)

    Farida: Hey, that’s great news about the forthcoming story. And I love the idea of a whole magazine apparently devoted to fairy tales!

    jama: OMG. Chocolate pecan pie — it’s been years, and I can still taste it, still feel myself swooning under the influence…

    Jeannine: Is the novel (so-called or otherwise — I myself think the latter is ALWAYS true) a product of NaNoWriMo?

    jone: I love the kind of event you described with the Celtic Christmas concert. Wish we had one locally! (And wish I were musically/socially/organizationally skilled enough to kick one off myself.)

    Kicks, well, another weird week for me. Still have a cold that settled in for an apparently extended visit last Monday, kept me home Wednesday, had me dog-sitting Thursday while The Missus et al. Thanksgave at the in-laws’ place…

    Despite that, though, some stuff to cheer about:

    * Oh yes, Thanksgiving itself. What a great holiday. As secular, or not, as you want it to be; the food omigod the food; no particular social/cultural pressure associated with it; the Macy’s parade (despite, grr, the overt commercialism of recent years); the only officially sanctioned 4-day weekend in the US calendar. I used to love the Weds. night before, especially, with all the college kids coming home, the casual food (because no one wanted to prepare ANYTHING before Thursday), the TV specials… Sigh.

    * I’m re-reading a book by one of my Dad’s favorite authors, a mid-century humorist named H. Allen Smith. It’s called How to Write Without Knowing Nothing and has some pretty funny (and some pretty corny) bits in it. But the one unadulterated pleasure of re-reading it is the opportunity to see again, in my mind’s eye, Dad’s crooked smile.

    * Did manage to make my annual sour-cream pumpkin pie yesterday. Belated doesn’t mean bad: oh nononono, children.

    * The Disney Snow White restoration: eye-popping. Plus, not having seen it in years, was also amazed to learn that it came out in 1937 — not late ’40s, as I’d thought. Which explains Snow White’s look — not your latter-day conventional angular-cheekboned sprite, this one.

    * I think last week I mentioned that I’d learned of the history of the phrase “hunky-dory,” from Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words site/e-newsletter. A few days after I reported that to The Missus, she mentioned she’d always wondered about “dead as a doornail”: why a doornail? what did that even MEAN? The answer, from the same source.

    * Cocky, wild & crazy guy that I am, I almost never bother spell-checking anything. But — especially under the influence of do-not-operate-machinery medications — every now and then I run it on a long document just for the sheer cheap smug thrill of seeing that “The spell check is complete” message with no nagging interruptions. Take that, Microsoft Word (or equivalent).

    * Sadly, I have again missed this festival. Maybe next year?

  10. Tarie, the new blog is very exciting! (I just left a “woot!”y comment.) What a fine, fine contribution to the blogosphere.


    And, once again: Go, Tarie’s brothers! I swear, they’re, like, superheroes to us. I hope you’ll keep us updated. Best of luck to them in Egypt.

  11. Tarie. gotta say Team Jacob.

  12. Tarie: Wow — the sooper sekrit project looks like a huge deal! Best of luck with it!!

    (And I trust the brothers will do some trick photog stuff, showing then doing kicks and punches and what-nots on the Sphinx’s head. :))

  13. John, whenever I read your kicks (or your blog posts), I have a long list of things I want to comment on, and then I get to the actual writing of my comment and I’ve FORGOTTEN half of them. That just means you’re a very interesting person. Also that I’m scatter-brained.

    I also love Santa’s reindeer in this book — and his smile. Looks like a child drew on that smile. And I didn’t even MAKE that stocking connection. Good eye, you.

    Good question about Melissa’s illustration. Maybe I can ask her.

    As for the mad tea party images and having to create more pages for them, I see your point and I’ve considered that…But remember there are archive pages. If someone clicks on “picture books,” say, I could put a mad tea party there. And there are thirteen categories there (though some way more used than others — poor “Reading Lists”…should just delete that). I also created a page just this morning to put all the mad tea party images in one spot. There’s another header! (I was supposed to be putting dishes away, and you see, creating a “collection” page for the mad tea parties seemed way more fun.)

    John, I know you like westerns, too, so I’m always curious as to what you’d think of Deadwood, so by all means, once you finally watch it, let me know! My husband has wanted to watch it for a long while now, and then Eisha up and recommended it, so there ya go. I had to watch it. And I’m glad we are. Oh, and I’ve never seen Midnight Clear (though I always knew Sam had done the song for it) but must add to the queueueueueueueueueue.

    Sorry you missed the actual Thanksgiving meal at the in-laws’. Hope that cold packs its bags and heads on out of town. …Love your kick #2 for what memories it brings. ….Did I tell you how we sing “some day my prince will come” in the Danielson home? ….I loved the dead-as-a-doornail explanation. I think I wonder at least once a day about the origin of certain words and phrases. I had one yesterday, but now I’ve forgotten it.

    That video. Just…just…wow. For real? Yeah. It looks for real. I don’t think I could bring myself to ingest one of those.

  14. That page of 7-Imp header images is a kick in its own right!

    Meant to tell you that one of the bits in the H. Allen Smith book was a little writing exercise he’d set himself — a review of Alice in Wonderland (a negative one!) as if it had been written by a critic for Variety. (This was one of those bits which was probably funnier back in the 1950s than now.) The piece is called “Alice in Jive,” and includes this wonderful sentence:

    Perils-of-Pauline gimmick has doll pratfall into deep well searching for animated hassenpfeffer.

  15. HA! I’m going to *have* to use “hassenpfeffer” in a sentence today, too.

  16. Greetings, everyone —

    Just getting back from the airport run to drop off my brother and his girlfriend after the holiday festivities, so am a bit late with the kicks. Love the Mad Tea Party image, Jules, and all of your kicks (especially the Sam kick, of course). Oh, and the movie “Midnight Clear” is basically out of print, unfortunately. I was able to find it on Netflix, but it isn’t available to rent. I’m hoping to maybe buy it on eBay at some point.

    Farida, congratulations on your short story publication! So many talented people here at 7-imp.
    Jama, you are already finished with Christmas shopping? What a relief that must be! I’m very jealous. And can I just say how much I LOVE the Gilmore Girls?!
    Jeannine, congratulations to you for finishing your novel. Just being able to say that must be an amazing feeling.
    Jone, thanks for sharing the Whispering Roses — such beautiful Celtic music!
    Tarie, congratulations on your new blog! How exciting for you.
    JES, loved your second kick about your Dad. It’s those simple things that mean the most, don’t you think? My Dad has a very corny sense of humor, but the corniness can be the funniest part, if that makes any sense. And just for the record, I will never be hungry enough to eat a turkey testicle. Never.

    My kicks:
    1) Family, despite all the craziness and dysfunction.
    2) Thanksgiving. Like these Sunday kicks, we should have Days of Thanks much more often, to remind us to be grateful.
    3) Sam Phillips’ “A Cold, Dark Night” Christmas EP. Beautiful, haunting and joyful.
    4) The eye-popping fall colors on the vineyards in the Napa Valley yesterday. Just can’t get enough of this beautiful weather.
    5) Staying far away from the Black Friday shopping scene.

    Have a great week!

  17. What I particularly love about Christmas Magic (which I just saw for the first time on, I think, Friday) is the way Muth illustrates the reindeer. I totally want one for a pet now. Not really. But maybe.

    Jules, Fudge pie. Mmm.

    Farida, Yay to publication!

    Tarie, GO JACOB! Did you see the new movie? It is totally an argument for why Bella shouldn’t have decided to marry the dead thing, who is ugh-just-awful in those movies.

    I love hearing about everyone else’s holiday and what they ate. My favorite!

    My kicks:
    1. Thanksgiving! I cooked and had guests, per usual, and it was all quite lovely.
    2. I finally learned how to make vegan stuffing that my lactose-intolerant vegetarian guest could enjoy, which was ridiculously easy. Why haven’t I done this all along?
    3. I had Wednesday off work and was able to kind of ease into the cooking thing. It felt like a luxury.
    4. I went to see a great movie, Mary and Max, at the Dryden Friday night.
    5. Even better, I went to the aforementioned movie by myself but then ran into friends when I got there. It’s cool when that happens.
    6. Last night, I decided to hang around the house and do a lot of nothing because I was kind of worn out from several days of activity. It was restorative.
    7. Today, I finished up a bunch of work on my online class. It starts–eep!–next week!

  18. And Robert Pattison is in a new movie coming out and looks a whole lot better playing a living person. BTW, I saw an ad for Bella and Edward dolls …age range 6+ What are people thinking?

  19. Jill, I want to go to the Napa Valley with you one day. I also stayed away from shopping on Saturday. I always do. There is actually a Buy Nothing Day celebrated then, too.

    Adrienne, glad your cooking and your holiday weren’t rushed. I know you’re already swamped with the online course. WHICH WILL ROCK. I know it will.

  20. LOVE Jon J. Muth’s art – thanks for sharing it.

  21. Thank you for sharing the lights and the happy holiday wishes!

    Dan Krall’s 7-Imp Mad Tea Party image is a hoot and a half.

    Jules: Yours will be a coalless stocking. Enjoy the entertainment. 🙂

    Farida: Congratulations on your to-be-published fairy tale! Have fun with your family, including the Queen.

    Jama: I liked the concept of Gilmore Girls. Are you all stocked up on warm soup for the winter?

    Jeannine: Rock that manuscript! See above to Jama re: soup.

    Jone: As I read “Celtic” in your post, the score music in the film I’m currently listening to had an Irish flair. Now that’s timing.

    Tarie: Best wishes to your brothers. I hope they do well and enjoy their stay. I’ve always wanted to go to Egypt. Good luck with Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind!

    JES: Again I say that word/phrase origins are fun. LaVerne and Shirley will teach you how to use “hassenpfeffer” in conversation (well, at least song) on a daily basis/.

    Jill: Enjoy the pretty colours.

    Adrienne: Woo hoo for vegan stuffing! Thanks for going to that extra trouble for your friend. Good luck with your class!

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Family
    2) Fully thankful
    3) Auditions (Sunday and Tuesday)
    4) Argyle (knee-highs, tights, and sweaters)
    5) Dreams
    6) Jetty
    7) Tinkering

  22. Everyone, thank you so much for your wishes for my brothers and for Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind!!!

    Jone and Adrienne, werewolves are SO BEAUTIFUL. Jacob Black, especially. He stunned me in the New Moon movie.

  23. Kicks, you vant kicks, my children?

    1. My daughter’s pumpkin creme brule.

    2. Phone calls on T-day from my sons.

    3. Grandaughter Caroline telling me she is thankful for EVERYTHING. Then stops, and adds, “Well, maybe not mosquitoes and flies.”

    4. Finishing a new middle grade novel. Starting a new graphic novel. Starting a new picture book.

    5. Good friends for Thanksgiving dinner.

    6. Turkey soup made from the bones.

    7. No snow yet.

    8. Laughing uproariously at a silly joke. (OK, granddaughter Glen’s boyfriend Jason who is over 6 feet tall and wearing bunny ears.)

    9. Three pairs of new earrngs aftee a morning browsing at Snow Farm’s Seconds Sale.

    10;. Reading Annie Boutelle’s poetry.


  24. Kelly, Jon never disappoints, huh?

    Little Willow, argyle: yes! Jetty: huh? Tinkering: love that it’s a kick for you.

    Jane, sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving with family all around. Pumpkin creme brule sounds like something I need to have in my life.

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