7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #25: Featuring Michael Foreman

h1 August 26th, 2007 by Eisha and Jules

{WHITE OWL, BARN OWL. Text Copyright © 2007 Nicola Davies. Illustrations Copyright © 2007 Michael Foreman. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick Press, Cambridge, MA, on behalf of Walker Books Ltd., London}

Jules: Many thanks to Michael Foreman and Candlewick for this illustration today. Just look at this lovely image from Nicola Davies’ and Michael Foreman’s White Owl, Barn Owl (released this past April and reviewed here this week by Jules). This is a beautiful book — well-written, well-designed, and including both a fiction narrative and non-fiction facts about the common barn owl, these things merged together with eloquence and ease. And Michael Foreman’s illustrations are almost breathtaking, especially the ones showing the owl in flight. Have you ever really stopped to consider how seven-kinds-of-prolific this man is? Go here and scroll down a bit. My oh my, I bet he’s capable of way more than seven impossible things before breakfast.

A huge heapin’ thanks to the honorable Mr. Foreman for letting us feature this gorgeous illustration today, the moment in which the young girl and her grandpa first spot the barn owl’s pale face in the nest box they have created for him.

On to our kicks then . . . By way of explanation for any new folks (who we hope will leave their lists), 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.

* * * * * * * Jules’ list * * * * * * *

Oh lordamercy, what oh what did I do to deserve such a fabulous, kicks-worthy week? Here we go:

I made some wonderful connections with folks whom I respect and admire this week (see below), but without a doubt, this just HAS TO be Numero Uno on my list:

1). My three-year-old daughter (very nearly 3.5) loves and adores All Things Winnie-the-Pooh. A good while ago I tried to read to her one of the original Pooh stories, as in A.A. Milne, and it didn’t go well. Not surprised. Gotta be able to sit and focus and listen. Very few pictures there. Etc. Etc. But, she is so crazy about Pooh and Heffalumps (and now she’s a bit older), so I tried again — with “Chapter Five, In Which Piglet Meets a Heffalump” from Winnie-the-Pooh. And she sat and listened all wide-eyed and mesmerized and loved it! Now, you have to understand here that, when I first found out I was pregnant, my one very particular joy and anticipation was the thought of reading the classics of children’s lit to my child. Every parent has that One Big Joy, you know? Maybe it’s dreaming of the child playing soccer and watching her games or taking ballet or football or what-have-you. For me, it’s reading Pooh and Charlotte’s Web and The Secret Garden and The Hobbit (though my husband wants to read that one to them), etc. So, that’s my BIG BIG BIG FAVORITE KICK of the week. We even read a few more, including “Chapter Three, In Which A Search is Organdized, and Piglet Nearly Meets the Heffalump Again” from The House at Pooh Corner.

illustration by E.H. Shepard from 'Winnie-the-Pooh', 1926; Fair Use! Fair Use! Yay!Best of all, she’s been walking around with a copy of George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man, which she found randomly on one of our bookshelves, and has been pretending to read Pooh stories, making up nonsense narratives all involving Piglet and Heffalumps. You gotta love that — the lost George Bernard Shaw Pooh tales. (Hmmm, Pooh as a Young Fabian would be intriguing, no?). We’ve also been building a lot of Very Cunning Traps for Heffalumps all week. She gets so excited that it’s a bit difficult to follow this game, but I just have to follow her and whisper “mystery” and “danger” a lot, as she does.

Sorry that’s a long Numero Uno, but I find it very exciting.

2). The Southern Festival of Books will be here in Nashville this October (the weekend after the fabulous 1st Annual Kidlitosphere Conference in Chicago). First, look at the great authors-who-will-be-attending list! I don’t want to single any authors out, but I’m excited about the opportunity to meet many of them.

Oh wait! YES! I am going to single one of them out, and that would be Haven Kimmel, whom Eisha and I adore (and we’ve made that quite clear here at 7-Imp). I not only get to meet her, but I get to host her session (this is most very quite possibly ninety-nine percent likely, but even if something changes later, I still can’t help but tell you about it now). And I couldn’t be more excited* or honored! What a great month October will be. I only wish Eisha could meet her with me, but alas and alack, she cannot make it.

3). We get to interview** Naomi Shihab Nye this November for the upcoming Winter Blog Blast Tour, organized by Colleen Mondor! Remember when Eisha and I interviewed ourselves? And my response to the fantasy author wine/coffee soiree was Maurice Sendak, Haven Kimmel, and Naomi Shihab Nye? Well, now I get to meet Haven, and I’ve already corresponded a bit with Naomi about the interview. And I’m happy to report that she’s brilliant (we already knew this) and terrifically nice. We also have confirmed Phyllis Root and Gabrielle Zevin! How great will this be? How humbled are we? Very.

4). I won a copy of Zoopa: An Animal Alphabet by Gianna Marino from author Jama Kim Rattigan just for visiting her great new blog. Thanks, Jama! I just got it and can’t wait to read it.

5). I had a great brainstorming session with Eisha and Susan and Anne and a nice editor from The Poetry Foundation about feature ideas for their site. It was quite a thrill to talk to them all at one time. I really wanted to ask Susan about her chickens but figured that would be off the point.

6). This report on coffee. OH YEAH, that’s what I’m talking about, people. (And do you want an anti-kick? Read this: “‘Anybody would rather have fun while they’re learning, instead of sitting there staring at a book, staring at a piece of paper . . . This is different, this is something that the kids love.'” HUBBA-WHA???? (Thanks to my friend, Missey, for both links).

7). Particularly great new review copies: Haven’s new novel; Barbara McClintock’s new illustrated picture book; Adam Rex’s new book; Polly Dunbar’s new picture book; Mo Willems’ two new Elephant & Piggie beginning readers; Matt Phelan’s new picture book; and more. Whew, so much good stuff to read and not enough time.

* {I’m going to hug Shannon Collins’ neck so hard the next time I see him!}

** {I’m going to hug Colleen Mondor’s neck so hard whenever I meet her!}

Sorry my kicks are so long this week. Excellent week for me. I’ll try to, uh, write a short haiku or something next week . . . I’m going to leave you with a 7½. My husband emailed me this video this week. Chris Thile is obscenely talented. Here he is covering “Morning Bell” by Radiohead. It’s long — a little over eight minutes. You’d have to be really interested in this kind of jammin’ to sit through it. But — if you are, as I am (there’s always been something about Chris’ voice that is extra kick-ass to me) — then enjoy:

* * * * * * * eisha’s list * * * * * * *

I also love the Michael Foreman image for this week’s post. Thanks!

Jules, I can’t think of anyone who deserves a chock-full-o’-kicks week any more than you. So, enjoy! And good luck with the Heffalump hunting. I hope you’re just planning to catch-and-release, though – you don’t want PETA all up in your grill.

My Kicks include a bunch of things Jules already mentioned:

The Used World1* I also got a bunch of excellent review books in the mail this week, including Haven Kimmel’s new one, The Used World, and the two new Elephant and Piggie books from Mo Willems.

2* Jules gets to meet Haven Kimmel (maybe I’ll figure out a way to go see it – I’ve got over a month to figure it out…). Even if I don’t get to go, I’ll be cheering you on from afar, J!

3* We had that great brainstorming session with the Poetry Foundation peeps.

4* We get to interview Naomi Shihab Nye. Too, too amazing.

And my own Kicks:

I’m Not Cute!5* Birthday presents continue to trickle in, including an adorable stuffed Baby Owl from a certain co-blogger BFF of mine. Thanks, Jules! He really really is SO CUTE!

6* The most recent play my husband designed, a musical based on The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg, is amazing. If you can, really, go see it. I can’t get the “Oscar and Alphonse” song out of my head.

7* We finally saw Hot Fuzz, and it is made of awesome.

* * * * * * *

Okay, everybody, now it’s your turn. How was your week? Got any Kicks to share?

24 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #25: Featuring Michael Foreman”

  1. Can’t wait for all the fabulous interviews! See, that’s the great thing about YOUR kicks, j & e: we all know that we’re going to get to share in the kickiness too!

    My list:

    1. My neighbor knocks on the door. “Do you know you have a flat tire?” Yes, I knew. But the rain, and I was tired, and… “Well, I’m fixing it for you.” Wow!

    2. Poetry Friday. So much good stuff out there, and I love the thought of all of us “paying calls” to each other’s blogs that day. Ooh, and I did actually find some very awesome literary calling cards!

    3. Mother Reader’s comment on my blog on Poetry Friday. I loved everyone else’s too, but there’s something about reaching a self-proclaimed heretic that gets me every time. 🙂

    4. My sister, after having to take a break due to mental health issues, is back to studying for her GRE.

    5. Cocoa and fig spread. Yum. Plus, I discovered two “new-to-me” cheeses. I love trolling Whole Foods.

    6. Stranger Than Fiction. Emma Thompson, I adore you. You almost make me want to take up smoking.

    7. It’s official! My book is going to be a Cafe Book for middle schools in two counties! Yippee! And I get to talk to them all at the end of the school year!

  2. Sara, now, those are all nice, but numbers 1, 4, and 7 are particularly kick-y. What kindness from your neighbor, yay for your sis, and yay for you! What exactly does Cafe Book entail? Is this something the librarians or language arts teachers do?

    Speaking of that (schools), I wonder if I should have made my anti-kick in number six a whole separate and very disgruntled post. Did you read that, Sara? An elementary school going “paperless” — the books stay on the shelves, and they’re going to use computers only for instruction (oh but don’t fear – they will use paper when they take things like worksheets home). WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?

    Congrats again, Sara! And yay for converting a self-proclaimed non-believer in poetry.

  3. Yikes, jules. I went and read that anti-kick, and all I can say is: if they’re talking about leaving those clunky textbooks on the shelves, then: woo-hoo! But surely they don’t mean novels, too?

    Cafe Book is a lunchtime book club for middle schoolers. It’s run jointly by the county and school librarians (isn’t THAT great?) and the kids themselves. I’ll email you the link.

  4. Well, that’s a good question, Sara. I had assumed they meant novels, too, but maybe I assumed too much.

    Too much computer instruction makes me nervous, too, though. Different types of learning and all. What about those kids who don’t want to stare at a screen that much? I hope they mix things up for them.

    Looking forward to the link . . . thanks.

    (Oh, and relying on the Web alone for non-fiction, though I know there are computer programs/databases for that type of stuff, is rather terrifying).

  5. What great kicks you all have this week! Jules and Eisha–I’m excited for all your great features and that you’re all so excited about them. (And that’s cool about “Pooh,” Jules. I had the same moment twice, so i know how great it is. The Secret Garden, however, didn’t win any fans as much as I talked it up.)

    Sara: How great is Emma Thompson? And how much would we like a Queen L in our lives? I need her to move in now. Oh, and huge congrats on your book being chosen!!

    Okay, on to the kicks:

    1) New audio. I just listened to a book I hated so, so much. And it’s over, thank god. And here’s the thing: the book was “literary,” written really, really well. Short-listed for many an award. But, I loathed it. I have A LOT of work today–grunt work–so I need an audio friend to get through it.
    2) Great weather. After a month of 100 degree heat indexes, we’re in the 80s with blue, blue skies.
    3) School started for the kids. School-adverse son likes teacher and a boy in his class. His reading is picking up and things are looking good for him.
    4) I have an e-mail from Helen Dunmore in my inbox. I have always loved her writing for adults and now I love her writing for kids. And I have an e-mail from her in my inbox 🙂
    5) I start teaching today and I’m not totally dreading it.

    Well, tons to do, so 5 will have to be enough.

  6. Jules and Eisha: Interviewing Naomi Shihab Nye? I am so envious!! Think I mentioned it before I took a class from her in the 80’s. She is coming to the 2008 joint Oregn and washington library conference.Sara, I want the link for Cafe Book also. I love it. Congrats.I also want the ling for the “paperless” school. Yuck!! But I need to read about it. Kelly, good luck with school.
    My kicks:
    1. Fabulous four days with family at the coast.
    2. The owner of Beach Books in Seaside, OR gave me the ARC copy of Vegetable, Meat, Miracle to read.
    3.Finished Princess Academy.
    4. Almost finished with HP 5 on audio.
    5. Reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. I had to put the book away last night or I would have stayed up waaay toooo late.
    6. Our school theme for the year: :Hidden Treasures, Hidden Potential” Ideas are circulating.
    7. Buying books for my granddaughters at Beach Books.
    Have a great week.

  7. I’m going to have to alert Tammy to White Owl, Barn Owl. So pretty — and she loves owls, probably because she didn’t have any living in her barn growing up and didn’t have to confront any pellets or mangled discarded food. Not that this happened to me. Much.

    Jules, Lucas is suddenly into Roald Dahl, which I am so completely excited about as I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for him to get old enough to appreciate the wonderfulness that is Dahl. So I get the reading Pooh aloud thing. Incidentally, not to be all consumerish, but The Silly Old Bear Shop in Niagara-on-the-Lake is completely fun, and NOTL is also the location of the annual Shaw Festival. Perhaps your daughter sensed this Pooh-Shaw connection?

    I keep saying the coffee makes me smarter. I just went and got a warm-up.

    Eisha, I am obviously going to have to get one of those Baby Owls.

    Hot Fuzz was such a fun movie. Whatever those people make, I’m going to see it.

    My seven:

    1. One week off work, one more to go. I’m at that point in my vacation where I have to think really, really hard to remember even what day of the week it is. Instead of “Monday,” “Tuesday,” or “Wednesday,” I’m now thinking of the days as “The Day We’re Eating Ice Cream Cake” or “The Day Tracy’s Visiting.”
    2. Speaking of which, ice cream cake. We decided that it was time to celebrate, although, in the end, we couldn’t settle on exactly what we were celebrating. Maybe it was ice cream.
    3. The trip to Amherst. I love it there.
    4. Visiting one of my childhood friends and her kids who live about an hour away. Between the drive and everyone being so busy, it always feels like an event to get to see them. And I seriously adore her children.
    5. Playing catch — like, with a baseball — for the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long. Lucas played, too, so I got to feel like maybe I’m slightly athletic (which, for the record, I’m not).
    6. Ooo! And I bought new notecards and postcards and STAMPS. I’m going to blog about the stamps, because the current selection at the P.O. is freaking awesome.
    7. I have, like, twenty tomatoes growing on my tomato plants right now.

  8. Here’s the link from the public library: http://www.teenspoint.org/schools/cafe_book/index.asp
    The selections for the 2007-2008 list aren’t on there yet, but there are good, detailed pages about how the program runs, and lists from previous years.

    I can also put you in touch with someone who’s worked with the program for several years, if anyone’s interested in this professionally.

  9. O.K. Jules. It’s Sunday morning again, and I remembered to check the 7-Imp list! I guess that should be Kick #1.

    Kick 2: Grace, my 15-year old, had to choose an author from a list provided by her English teacher in order to do a research paper or biography or some such. She had a hard time choosing between C.S. Lewis and Richard Peck. She finally decided on Richard Peck, because she knew Jules would be positively thrilled. She actually asked me to take her to school early on the sign up day so that she could be sure she got her first choice. Then she figured out that nobody in her class knows who Richard Peck is so we didn’t have to go to school early AND she got Richard Peck. She’s told me that he’s visiting our most wonderful, awesome local public library, and she asked her teacher if she could go to the special face time he’s got scheduled just for teachers. What an over-achiever (but I love it)!

    My son moved into his dorm at Maryville College this week. He’s a sophomore and a transfer student to MC. His dorm room is twice the size of the room last year in the freshman dorm (Kick 3); and he said the food in the cafeteria is pretty good (Kick 4). Between missing him so much last school year (he was 2 1/2 hours away), and his unhappiness . . . well, it was a long school year for us both. There is definitely hope for this school year (Kick 5).

    I thank the Lord for all my blessings. As my friend, Claudia, says *I know where I am, and I can wipe my own behind* so life is good (Kicks 6 and 7).

    Finally, Jules, you and Eisha ROCK! I can’t wait to meet Eisha. Your blog is so great; your work is garnering recognition every day from the folks you respect. For the most part you get to work from home, even in your p.j.’s. How cool is that? You ROCK. I know I just said that, but I really, really mean it!


  10. Sara, your neighbor rocks. I’m so glad your sister is doing better. And I really liked Stranger Than Fiction, too.

    Kelly, you hereby have my permission to just STOP LISTENING/READING any book that doesn’t grab you. Seriously, life is short. Put it down, and read something good. And break a leg today!

    Jone, what a lovely book-filled week! I keep hearing great things about MKD, and will have to add it to my pile.

    adrienne – Baby Owl’s little-er owl is even a finger puppet!!! And since I’ve been unemployed for over a month, I’ve totally lost track of days too. It’s kind of awesome, isn’t it?

    OOH, EVERYBODY: I FORGOT A KICK!!! My friends Adrienne (the other one) and Scott came in to town for a day and we all ate at Moosewood and shopped around the Common. It was great to see them.

  11. it’s been rough readjusting to life-after travel, full of promises and deadlines and all. things aren’t hectic so much as i’m feeling very scattered right now…

    the kicks:

    1. camping with the fam in vermont, including a hike up to the top of a dam and an awesome sideways waterfall over giant boulders

    2. receiving awesome words of support from an editor

    3 – 7. crossing the i’s and dotting the t’s getting things in order to apply to grad school, despite having to rewrite an essay from scratch after realizing that i totally misread the focus of what it was supposed to encompass.

  12. Kelly, good luck with teaching. You start on a Sunday?

    Jone, my girls’ granny bought them I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean this weekend. I imagine that buying books for grand kids is a particularly wonderful kick.

    Adrienne, you bet I’ll be willing and ready and very eager to read Dahl’s The BFG to my girls as soon as they’re ready. Could there be a better read-aloud? Could I stop talking like Chandler Bing all day? I just dunno.

    HI, GLORIA! Thanks for visiting. Go, Grace! I interpreted for Richard Peck once, though Shannon Collins was my team interpreter and stole the show (that’s a compliment to him, by the way) and did a much better job than I did. Wem Glo, I hope you come back and share kicks every week. Boy howdy it made my day to see you visiting. Plus, we can keep up better this way. (And thanks for complimenting our blog — it’s fun to do). Oh, and I hope Will loves MC!

    David, congrats on good words from the editor. Good luck with settling in and all the deadlines and such.

    Eisha, how was the food at Moosewood? Do tell.

  13. Hope to meet you someday too, Gloria. Or, um, Wem Glo? Someone oughtta explain that name…

    david, I’m sure your totally new essay kicks ass. Break a leg, dude.

    Moosewood was yummy. When you talk to locals, they always say “yeah, you never know with Moosewood, it depends who’s cooking that day, blah blah…” but both my experiences have been very tasty.

  14. I feel a bit of a fraud sticking my nose in here each week when I don’t comment much on Blogs during the week. I promise I AM reading them – just not commenting much ! Still, until someone asks/tells me not to bother, I’ll keep on coming by…

    So kicks – unsurprisingly they’re largely Doctor Who related – ‘cos as anyone who’s looked at the header on my Blog recently will know The Doctor has stolen my brain, my heart, my soul and my life… (Yep, I’ve owned my addiction IN my Blog header – does owning it mean I’ll find a cure – somehow I doubt it ! Do I care ? Not so much, not when I’m having so much fun !!)

    1 – Anyway (as the Tenth Doctor likes to say !), I got the new Doctor Who Magazine yesterday – yay ! Lots of exciting news about next year’s season…

    2 – I also got a free copy of the DWM Special – the season 3 Companion with TONS of photos, information and articles on Season 3 – Nerdgasms galore !

    3 – I’ve now written and posted 18 Tenth Doctor/Martha stories on my Journal in 6 weeks… And more and more people are reading them, which is fun as I’m making even more friends…

    4 – Actually having people tell me that they wait impatiently for the weekend to roll around so they can read my latest stories – that’s a serious ego boost after a week of work-related gloom…

    5 – Watching David Tennant in “Taking Over the Asylum” – oh what a brilliant and beatiful man, he is !

    6 – Tomorrow’s a public holiday and I have the DAY OFF work (can’t really afford it but I SO need it !)

    7 – Given it’s a public holiday tomorrow, it’s purely astonishing that we’re having a mini heat-wave here in England at the moment – actual SUNSHINE has been seen and experienced… I almost died of shock ! 😀

    Hope you all have a good week (and Kelly, I’m not a BIT jealous of your 4th Kick – not a bit ! Hope the teaching went/goes well !)

  15. Michele, do you know how often I visit blogs but don’t comment, usually ’cause I don’t have time? No worries there . . . Congrats on a sunlight-spotting.

    Eisha, my nickname for Gloria (“Wem Glo”) actually is children’s lit-related. When I worked as a full-time interpreter at UT, I did some mentoring, and Gloria was assigned as my student. I believe it was for a particular success in her studies she had (or her first real interpreting assignment — I can’t remember??) that I purchased her “Wemberley Worried” by Henkes, ’cause we both bonded over — amongst many other things, including a love for some good bluegrass — being natural worriers, which little Wemberley is big-time, as you know. And then there’s a “Jewels” in the book whom Wemberley bonded with, as she and I did. So, well, she’s Wemberley Glo now, or Wem Glo or WG for short. (I might have missed some vital piece of information in that story, but I think that’s pretty much how it went).

    Good story. The End.

  16. I’m thinking that the beautiful owl book you shared makes my pb ms for a book about a barn owl in an owl box superfluous. Le sigh.

    But I’m very psyched you guys scored Naomi Shihab Nye for the WBBT, and I love the Piglet Heffalump stories by GBS. And Jules? During John Green’s keynote at LA, he named two “perfect books”: Ulysses, by James Joyce, and Wemberley Worried, by Kevin Henkes.

    1. I’m tickled pink about my interview with Tony Mitton for the Under the Radar Tour, even though I did it weeks ago. Still, tickled. It goes up tomorrow. Must. Code. Today.
    2. New bookcase for the basement = JOY. It will allow at least 4 other areas of the house to be decluttered, at least in part.
    3. I’m being interviewed by 7-Imp. Squee!
    4. Reluctant soccer player S now wants to be team captain of the freshman girls’ team. I knew it was just nerves that made her balk in the first place. Hee.
    5. Got an ARC in the mail the other day that I signed up for on a whim. I heart packages from UPS.
    6. New dishes. I so love tableware. It’s probably a sickness, but there it is.
    7. I am making progress with my Jane Project again. Which is good.

  17. Wow! What amazing lists everyone has this week. As a self-professed poetry lover, I can’t wait to read the Nye interview. And Sara, jeez, how can we keep up?! I love your blog and am always inspired.

    I’m not sure I’ll get to seven, but here are my kicks.
    1. Day at the beach this week for my department retreat. It was amazing.
    2. During our faculty colloquy on Wednesday we finally got to meet our new University President. He is charasmatic and has great vision. I can’t wait for the year ahead.
    3. Finally saw some of my travel buds from our trip to China. I got some great hugs of hello and realized we all missed each other a lot.
    4. I met my new advisees–all first year students–and they’re adorable, smart and excited. One is from Panama and she’s amazing.
    5.I just returned from the Green Valley Book Fair where I spent just over $100 and came home with a box full of books. I bought copies of An Abundance of Katherines and Happy Kid for my students, some early readers for William, and LOTS for my teaching.

    That’s it. Have a great week all.

  18. Thanks, Tricia! I love your Monday poetry stretches!

  19. Jules: YAY for your kicktastic week! There is something so amazing about sharing something you love with someone you love – be it stories, secrets, a movie, a good meal, or even silence.

    Your kicks list makes me so happy for you, and for all of you – you have family and friends and good times all mentioned and involved in these plans. I think it’s hilarious that she’s carrying around another book (and such a DIFFERENT book!). I think it’s awesome that you are going to the various conferences and being the hostesses with the most…ess…es for Kimmel and Nye.

    I sang Out of the Woods by Nickel Creek to Holly, you know.

    So now I’m crying.

    As for covers, have we discussed heard Nickel Creek’s cover of Toxic?

    eisha: Please tell your husband that I said congratulations, again, over and over on repeat. Throw in a big YAY for good measure. Sing Best of Luck by Nickel Creek. (Or don’t, because the lyrics actually aren’t that uplifting.) I wish I could go see the show.


    Good things that happened to me this past week:

    1) Inclusion.
    2) Connection.
    3) Laughter.
    4) Photography.
    5) Performance.
    6) Interest.
    7) Creativity.

  20. Wow, great lists above, and hopefully more to come. What fun!

    Here’s mine:

    1. More travels. This time to the Poconos for a night and a free stay in the most Kitschy and Extravagant room — we had a POOL IN THE ROOM! Plus a sauna and a steam room and a jacuzzi and and and…. Too much fun!

    2. A liesurely and scenic drive home, on the old highway by the Delaware river. Windy and hilly and beautiful and dotted with old towns that time forgot.

    3. My neighbor picked almost all the pears off my horrible pear trees, and he put them out for people to take, so now I don’t have to worry about weeks of shoveling up rotten pear guts from the road and sidewalk.

    4. I made it through my first department budget. I started out way over budget, and within a day I cut 1/3 without too much anguish, and can now get back to my day job.

    5. I’m reorganizing my department and caught up in meetings and writing announcements and basically keeping all 10 fingers in the dam, but it’s going WELL and I know that in 6 months we’re going to wonder how we ever survived before this reorg, and staff will be so much happier. So I’m completely excited and happy about it myself.

    6. I loved our recent cold snap. I wasn’t ready for it (no heat in my house, no warm clothes that fit) but it still made me very happy. I love fall, and it’s on the way!

    7. I spent a lot of time laughing from Tuesday onward this week.

    Happy week everyone!

  21. Little Willow, HA! Didn’t know that about them covering “Toxic.” Just found it. This might make you dizzy, but here it is. That’s just awesome, especially Chris’ coy look there at the end — and all his slinky, Britney dancing:

    Kelly, congrats on new bookcases. Boy, do we need those.

    Tricia, congrats on a good new Prez.

    Nancy, glad you had a great week. I want a cold snap. Wah.

  22. Kelly F, I share your tableware sickness. We should start a support group. And squee right back at you, ’cause we get to interview you!

    Tricia, sounds like you’re in for a great year.

    Little Willow, you’re inspiring as always. How’s the show(s) going?

    Nancy – this place in the Poconos sounds so fun – I’m going to email you for details. And I agree – the cold snap was such a relief! I’m so ready for fall.

  23. oh, just saw the video. that is hilarious.

  24. Jules: That videographer ought to tape tennis matches.

    eisha: 🙂 Fantastic. Thank you for asking. I continue to be amaze by that in progress, while the other is winding to a close.

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