Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Lights

While in Northern California we went looking at Christmas lights, there was one well known house that is decorated every year, this year was the 25th year. Notice the line to go in.

It is a pastors house and there is a whole team of workers who put the thing together, there are lights every where.

This years light count was 278600.

It was a beautiful sight, one like I have never seen before.

And then across the street there was another display...

... ah yes the display of one light.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

We spent the evening in San Francisco, altogether about a six mile walk. We took BART to the Powell station and walked to Union Square.

The Christmas tree was huge and the stores all around were lit up for Christmas too.

Next we walked down to the Embarcadero.
Then we walked down to Pier 39 in the very light rain. Next we walked back up Powell Street back to Union Square, stopping for pizza at a yummy little place along the way. It was a fun and peaceful night in San Francisco.

Monday, December 10, 2007


November, where did you go, I hardly remember you! I have covered a few of November’s book so let finish them off. Prom Nights From Hell is a compilation of short stories from Meg Cabot, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe, Stephenie Meyer and Lauren Myrade. Each story had something to do with prom, from vampires, to demons, and much more. It was a fun book. Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler, this is the story of V, who lives with her Grandparents while her flaky mom continues to be flaky. V has some issues from living her Mom’s lifestyle for too long. When she meet the good guy, she makes mistakes and tries to deal with it, on a long road trip to see her Mom she works on figuring things out. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter is the sequel to I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You. The Gallagher Girls is a private girls school which is educating and training top spies. There is a change at school this year though…boys. It seems that there is a school similar to theirs for boys and some of the boys are going to spend some time with the Gallagher girls. Cammie and her friends have to deal with this change as well as her heartbreak and putting their spy skills to use to figure out who is trying to infiltrate the school.

I also managed to read two adult level books in November as well. The first was Loverboy by Michele Jaffe, I have read her teen books but this was the first adult one. As with her other books this one was set primarily in Las Vegas. It deals with FBI agent Imogen Page and her search for the Loverboy serial killer. The second book was Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This book has been pretty popular and received a lot of press, there is even a movie coming out soon based on the book but from the preview it looks like they may have changed a lot of it. The story takes place in Afghanistan and a young boy Amir and his best friend Hassan. There were parts of this book that shocked me, parts that were sad and parts that were happy. Its sort of a rollercoaster of a book. It is a good book but I probably would not read it for fun again.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


So last weekend (Thanksgiving) we went to Nor Cal for the holiday, while there we also went skydiving in Cloverdale, about an hour and a half north of San Francisco. It was a 10,000 ft jump. Mike went up with me and was the first to jump out of the plane. Here are the pictures and enjoy the video!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins

Pumpkin is a common thing to see and eat this time of year. A few weeks ago we got a couple of pie pumpkins. If you have never cooked or eaten some thing made with fresh pumpkin I recommend it. When I was growing up we cooked our jack-0 lanterns every year after Halloween to make pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pie pumpkins are much smaller and less fibrous then carving pumpkins

The first step is to cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds and stringy stuff. I found that an ice cream scope worked best. If you put the seeds aside they can be toasted!

There are many ways to cook the pumpkin. I decided to try the baking method. I used a roasting pan placed my two pumpkins in about 1/2 inch of water (this keeps the pumpkin from drying out). Bake them at 350 for about 30 min then test. To test them use a fork or knife and poke a pumpkin, when they are done the knife will slide easily through to the skin. Mine cooked about 50 min.

Once they are done baking, let them cool enough so they can be handled. Next scrape the pumpkin out leaving just the shell. You need to puree the pumpkin, there are many methods of doing this, I used my little mini food processor. I also found that I needed to add a little water to get the pumpkin to blend and become smooth. Once blended you can freeze it till you need some pumpkin!

Now for all those seeds. I have tried doing something with them in the past and have never gotten them to come out quite right but I wanted to try again. First thing to so is to rinse the seeds.

Then spread them out on a cookie sheet to dry. The cooking method I was following said to spread them on a paper towel. Usually they need to dry overnight before cooking them.

This unfortunately is the last stage of my efforts this year. The next day when I wanted to mix them with salt and oil to cook them... they were hopelessly stuck to the paper towels, I might have tried to get them wet and get them to come unstuck but didn't go through the effort to start them again. Good luck with your pumpkins!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Monterey, IL2007

Last week I traveled to Monterey California for the Internet Librarian 2007 Conference. I have to say this was one of the best conferences I have been to. Day we arrived was beautiful and sunny but Monday it was cloudy and cold. At lunch I walked down to the Wharf and had a bowl of delicious clam chowder in a fresh sourdough bowl, yummy!

On Tuesday I visited Cannery Row, just a short walk down from where we stayed near Fisherman's Wharf, it was beautiful outside.

Don't worry though I actually did go to the conference! There were lots of great presentations about integrating Library 2.0, gaming, Second Life and so much more. Some of my favorite sessions were on promoting your library online, website design and using a wiki for your staff intranet. Basically it was good to be around a bunch of people who have similar jobs to me and had a lot of great ideas. This is a conference I am ready to go back to next year!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

As you may have noted in an earlier post I read the book Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, in the past few days the controversy over the book has come to my attention (its all over librarian listservs and blogs!). From what I have read, including this, Philip Pullman is a strong atheist and wrote this series of books to promote his beliefs, sort of the other side of the coin to Chronicles of Narnia. The mission in the books apparently is to eventually kill god. The book is seen by some as anti-Christian, anti-Catholics, etc… I am a little confused though. Philip Pullman was quoted as saying “I don’t profess any religion; I don’t think its possible there is a God…” so if he doesn’t believe why did he write a series of book where the goal is to get to and kill a god that according to his personal beliefs does not exist in the first place? Just a little point I was pondering. I also wonder if the controversy is similar to the Harry Potter issue, a bunch of people who have never read the series but pass judgment on it. I want to withhold my final judgment on the controversy until I read the other two books in the series. Remember this is an award winning book that has previously been sort of acclaimed

Movie Web Site

Wikipedia Entry

Two articles posted from Sarah Krygier, Young Adult Librarian Solano County Library who decided to not hold a program surrounding the movie and books.

Literary Review -Claudia FitzHerbert talks to Philip Pullman

Third Way

Lets get started on November...

So far for November I have three books. First is Avalon High: Coronation Vol.1 this is the first manga book by Meg Cabot. It continues the story where Avalon High left off. It is based on the idea that King Arthur and other influential people from the time are reincarnated into a group of kids in high school, events from the legend are playing out again in modern times. I don’t really read much manga but I did like this volume. River Secrets by Shannon Hale was another nominee for YALSA’s Teen Top Ten. It is the companion story to Goose Girl and Enna Burning but this time follows Razo as he searches in a foreign land to find out who the new burner is. Once again I enjoyed this story and a new perspective on familiar characters.

Finishing October

Let the onslaught continue! To wrap up October… first we will start with Firegirl by Tony Abbott. This book was nominated for YALSA’s Teen Top Ten, it is the story of a boy who attends a private school. One day the teacher announces a new student, turns out she is severely burned over most of her body. The book deals with the boy’s reaction to this new student as well as his response to his classmates and their behavior. Mates, Dates and Cosmic Kisses and Mates, Dates and Inflatable Bras by Cathy Hopkins are from the Mates, Dates… series. The stories switch between three girls who are friends and what they are going through growing up in England. These are some fast reads but good books, however I can see some readers being thrown off by the slang.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green is about a young genius Colin, who feels his IQ peaked when he was younger and now after high school must decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life, oh and by the way he only dates Katherines. The latest Katherine has broken his heart and he and his friend hit the road to see what is out there. Along the way Colin decided to make a mathematical love equation based on his Katherine relationships. Love Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is Stargirl’s letter to Leo after leaving Arizona for Pennsylvania. Stargirl recounts her year and thought to Leo. This book didn’t get the best reviews after all the praise the first one got, however I really liked it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Smoke and Earthquakes

I came all the way to Monterey to get away from the fires and smoke (well actually for a conference for work) and what happens... an earthquake, go figure.

There will be more on the conference later!

Friday, October 26, 2007

September and some October

More books, sorry folks I am still trying to catch up! So we will start off with Pride and Prejudice, most everyone is familiar with the story or has even seen the movie. I liked the book. I also tried to watch the much lauded BBC (with Colin Firth) video version of the movie but honestly it was sooo boring I didn’t make it through. The book is good though and I am glad I read it.

Now for the September books. We will start with The Aurora County All-Stars by Deborah Wiles. Deborah Wiles has become one of my favorite children’s authors and this book did not disappoint. It is a story of baseball, prejudice, family and life. Next is Jinx by Meg Cabot, Jinx is a girl who is sent from the Midwest to live with her relatives in New York after a problem got out of hand at home. While Jinx is trying to adjust to the City, her new school and her cousins, she makes a startling discovery about her families witch past, another good Meg Cabot story. Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson concludes the three part series of DNA hybrid kids and their battle to bring down those who made and tortured them, all they want is to try and live a normal life, well as normal as can be given they all have wings and can fly. The best book of this series was still the first one, but this one provided many answers that had been asked throughout the series.

Homefront by Doris Gwaltney takes place in rural Virginia, 12 year old Margaret Ann just wants to finally have a room of her own and just when it looks like she is going to get it her cousin arrives from England, having fled the London blitz of WWII. This is a good story and I think realistically tells the story of what happed to families during this War, Margaret Ann goes through the usual jealousy and acceptance of the “outsider” that is typical of this type of book. Lord of the Flies by William Golding is just one of those “classics” you should read, or so I though. What a story, oh my, I listened to the audio version and there were times I just wanted to turn it off. It is an example of what can happen to society with no rules. I am glad I read it but probably wouldn’t go through it again. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray was another interesting book. It was not quite what I had expected but I still liked it, it is much more of a fantasy book than I normally read. A young girls mother is killed and she is sent to live in England from India, while in school there she discovers she has magical powers and can visit another world.

In October (so far…) one of the first books I read was Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer. This book continues the story of Edward the vampire and Bella and Jake the werewolf. I was not too impressed with this book, your really want to knock some sense into Bella for making such stupid choices, plus the agonizing of the choice between Edward and Jake begins to wear a reader down. I will continue to read the series but I hope the next one is better. I saw a movie preview of Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. After reading the book I am not too impressed with the preview but the book was really good. It is the story of Lyra Belacqua who sets out to find out why so many children including her best friend are being kidnapped, the armored bear was my favorite character.

Ok that’s enough for today... but I will continue again soon!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wedding Slide Show

I have not gotten pictures yet, but my photographer has put together a little slide show

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Books update

I decided it was time to catch up here with my readings. Airborn by Kenneth Opel is a book that would appeal to boys. I met the author at one of the ALA events which is why I wanted to read the book, a good story about Matt who lives and works on an airship and has an adventure looking for a mysterious winged creature. Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock continues the story of D.J. her changing relationship with Brian and what she goes through after her brother suffers a major football injury, another good sequel.

Rachel Cohn wrote Gingerbread and Shrimp and now continues the story with Cupcake. The third part of the story continues with Cyd moving in with her brother in New York after graduation and her breakup with Shrimp. Richard Peck writes the quaintest story that I love, Here Lies the Librarian is one of those stories. Set in a small town where the librarian has died under the reference desk clutching cards from the card catalog of course, it is decided that a new librarian must be found. PeeWee, a tomboy meets the four new young librarians arrive they have an impact on her life and the town. Theodora Twist by Melissa Senate is the story of pop princess and emerging bad girl Theodora Twist. When the idea for a reality tv show comes up that will send Theodora back to her small home town to live like a “normal” girl things get a little crazy. The book alternates between Theodora and the girl she is living with Emily. It turns out they have a lot in common and can both learn something from one another.

Enna Burning and Austenland are both by Shannon Hale. Enna Burning is a story that takes place in the same region as several other Hale books. Enna develops the ability to control fire and works to help her friend Princess Isi protect their Country from foreign invaders. Austenland is an adult novel which is about a woman obsessed with Pride and Prejudice, this is affecting her ability to form real relationships. Her deceased relative sends her to Austinland to live out her fantasy and find her Mr Darcy, if she can.

Laurie Halse Anderson has made quite a name for herself as a YA author. Twisted is LHA’s most recent book and tells the story of a young man who does the right thing but is accused and punished anyway. Speak is a fairly well known story of a young girls who has something happen to her and for the most part stops talking. The endings of both these books make it worth going through what can sometimes be hard subject matter.

I will stop here for now on my journey to finally catch up here. I think there are some really great books out there though. The YA genera is really picking up and getting quality writers and stories.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pew Bows

Who knew I would be making pew bows??? Not me I can tell you that. A friend of my Moms suggested it, told her the supplies and said they would set up a "bow party". Due to various factors it never happened, I now have the supplies and spent this afternoon looking up bow making techniques online. I need to made 18 in the next two weeks. Does anyone know how to attach a bow to a pew? I thought double sided tape but that might not be a good idea...

Not too bad for my first ever bow attempt I think.

The Veil

I have finally finished my veil in a way that made me happy. Lets just say there have been several variations. I started with placing very small swarovski crystals around the edge of the veil, they are sparse at the top and are more frequent as they go down to the base of the veil. Here is a look at the whole veil, you can see a little of the sparkle.

The harder part of the veil was the top, at first I was not going to do anything with it then changed my mind. I added a larger size of crystal and clustered them there at the top. This picture shows it a little better, it was surprisingly sparkly.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hair Wreaths

I am going to have two flower girls, one question they asked was if they got to wear flowers in their hair, well ok I can handle that. After talking with florist and learning that they run about $30 and not finding anything online that was not huge and hideous or crazy expensive I finally decided to give it a try myself. Here are the results

I only have one completed, it took a little over an hour for this one, the second one is my current project.


I always imagined I would wear flip-flops, I would wear them all the time ever day if I could, has a more comfortable shoe ever been created? When I went looking for shoes I could not find much without a heel (like I need to be any taller, come on now) or just looked very uncomfortable. No one will be able to see my shoes since my dress is long, so as long as I like them thats what matters. Well, here are my wedding shoes I completed last night. Of course the picture does not do them justice but they are white shoes with red and silver beads.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Wedding crafts

So for the wedding I want to make some of the items, also many of the wedding things out there are not to my taste or what I want. Clearly making or enhancing things is my best and favorite option. Here is the first thing I have completed.

These were plain white baskets but I wanted to add a little color. I applied red and white ribbon and bows. I really like the way they came out. I am currently working on my veil and plan to also work on my shoes and some hair wreaths for my two flower girls. I will post pictures of things as I go along!

Long time....

Wow I had not realized it had been quite so long since I last blogged on here. The main reason for that I suppose is that I am getting married next month and with two months to plan, that sort of took over my spare time. I do have pictures of my latest craft

It is a beaded banner made from a kit, the beads are pony beads it uses a peyote type stitch. I spent many months playing with it but them completed about 2/3 of it in two days. I really like it and want to try another one once things slow down a little.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Could the public library system start today?

Freakonomics is a book most people have at least heard of at this point. I subscribe to the blog and find many interesting topics there. One recently askd if public libraries didnt exist could you start one today? This is an interesting question and can be read about here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Latest Reads

Here are my latest books, of course right now I am reading Harry Potter. I liked all of these and would recommend them!

The Miner's Daughter by Gretchen Moran Laskas
Storm Runners by T. Jefferson Parker
Powder Monkey by Paul Dowswell
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro
I Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Hipper Crowd of Shushers

Check out this article from the New York Times

A Hipper Crowd of Shushers
Published: July 8, 2007
A new type of librarian is emerging: think Dewey Decimal meets Generation X.

I liked the article and thought it helped fight the stereotype, something I always support. However there has been a backlash of librarians who say who cares about the image, why don't they focus on what we do not what we wear. I can sort of see that point but don't really agree. I think we have to become more known in the mainstream and need to look like we can be someone who the public can relate to in order make people more comfortable in approaching us. This is just my opinion but I think it was a good article :-)

ALA and Washington DC

Things have been crazy! I went to ALA, it was a great time but totally exhausting. Everyone had plane problems but thats another issue. I went to some sessions and some parties and I think I covered the vendor floor but it was three blocks long so who knows. I mailed a box home two day priority with some of the free stuff and I finally got it today, yes thats over two weeks later plus the box is barely hanging together. So much was going on each day I cant write about it all, but I am excited that next year it will be right here in Anaheim, about five miles away.

After ALA I stayed in DC and was a tourist, Hilary came too so we got to recall the old days, visit our old haunt and find new ones. It was fun but ten days away is a long time. The day after I got back I had a car accident. It was just a fender bender but thats all still being sorted out. Other than thats is been work and enjoying the cooler weather!

Librarians Build Communities

This is the USA Today article on Librarians Build Communities Day at ALA. It was a blast but a lot of work!

Librarians: We're still vital in the digital age

Ross Elementary School librarian Kathy Nelick, left, works with Darlene Browers of the American Library Association.
By Joe Brier for USA TODAY
Ross Elementary School librarian Kathy Nelick, left, works with Darlene Browers of the American Library Association.
More than 300 librarians in town for the annual American Library Association conference spread out across Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, forgoing sightseeing in favor of public service.

Their purpose was twofold: to make a difference while combating the perception that libraries are a dying institution, rendered unnecessary by Internet resources.

"There's this idea that with everything available online, there's no reason to continue building libraries," says Michael Dowling of the library association. "But libraries do so much. They are lifelong learning centers. This is an opportunity for us to reach out."

The conference began Thursday and lasts through Wednesday. Volunteers worked in schools, libraries, parks and food banks across the city.

In downtown Washington on Friday, four volunteers spent about seven hours entering 4,000 books into Ross Elementary School's computer catalog system. "I've been doing it myself, but it's quite a bit of work," school librarian Kathy Nelick says. "We're very fortunate to have these volunteers. … The job requires librarians with knowledge of databases."

Although they acknowledge that libraries play a different role in the community today than they did 10 years ago, the volunteers say they are more necessary than ever.

"There has been an incredible explosion of available information," says Domi Long, a librarian at the private Lowell School in Washington. "We need to teach kids how to evaluate information, and we need to help them navigate it."

Jill Hurst-Wahl, a digitization consultant and president of Hurst Associates in Syracuse N.Y., says a need for libraries will continue as times change. The challenge, she says, is adapting to the ways people want to access resources.

"You have the younger generation, which is more technologically literate and less eager to physically go into the library," she says. "They want to go online. And then you have senior citizens, who are becoming more technical but are also more comfortable going into the library in person. The pressure facing libraries and librarians today is taking all the possibilities and creating services — either online or in person — that adequately serve all the different generations."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Driving home from work a week ago my window made a weird noise and would not roll up, it just kept dropping back down. When I got home I pulled out the manual, got the tools and started taking my door apart. Fortunately a mechanic happened to pull up next to me and helped me rig the window up. After much pondering we decided to try and fix it ourselves, the quote to fix it being about $250. So I ordered the part and this Sunday Mike took the door the rest of the way apart and slapped the new window regulator in. So now I have a working window once more! This is what it looked like for that week

In other car news here is what happened to my car yesterday...

Yes that's 200,000 miles. My car is ten years old and I have had it for the last nine. The new goal is to get another 50,000

Cell Phone Holder

I purchased a cell phone holder from my cousins daughter who was selling all sorts of stuff for a school fundraiser. It looked like this (well this is the box)

...just a little on the ugly side to me. So I decided to give it a little makeover. This is the result

The picture is a little blurry but I was quite happy with the result!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cross Stich Purse

So here is something that took me a long time to complete, I started it before I moved then finished it a few weeks ago. I would like to say I made the whole thing but its just the cross stitched flower that I made. I think it actually came out pretty good.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bookstack Girl

I recently found this artist who I really like and purchased this print. You can see it in her Etsy store here She also has a blog here By the way I also got the pirate girl print...too cute!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

More Books!

Amazingly I have been getting some reading done recently, I know I am shocked too! First off is Larklight by Philip Reeve. Victorian space adventure...need I say more. It was a great book and I hear there is a sequel coming which should be fun. Next is Shrimp by Rachel Cohn, the sequel to Gingerbread, I enjoyed this book as much as the first. Lastly is Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot, again I seem to like all of her books and again this was a good one.

As for me I am learning more and more on my new job. Also preparing for my first ALA Conference in my old home Washington DC. I cant wait to get back and have a look around, not to mention I am finally going to the BIG conference. I will be sure to post all about it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Crafty Weekend

I have decided to begin putting my craft projects here, rather than continue to fill the side here with too many links.

First of all I took a two day class to learn how to crochet, our goal was to make a purse. I struggled to get this done for the week between classes, on the drive back to Palmdale I fiendishly crocheted and got all 16 inches done. Here is the result

And then with the joy of finally finishing that project I made a few more things.

Here is a domino bracelet

A pink mahjong tile bracelet

And finally a beaded bracelet

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New Discoveries

So as part of me getting into the technology mode for work I was forced to discover bloglines...whoa who knew there was something to make my life so much easier! I could check all my favorite blogs daily and all in one place. Well then I progressed and found Google Reader, which was even better but also led me to iGoogle, oh my! So now I have iGoogle on my computer and on one page I can see my calendar, the traffic, the weather, I have a wikipedia search box, Google Reader, spell checker and gas price monitor. It is versatile web page that I am a huge fan of.

Second life...well I am trying. I have created my avatar (although she still has a bald spot on the back of her head I cant get rid of) I am still exploring the first little island. It just takes up so much time and patience! I will keep trying though.

Crocheting, finally I am learning how to do it. I enrolled in a two week class and am making a purse. I will post pictures when it is done. Right now I need to finish the homework part of the class. You see the first session teaches you how to do it and gets you started, then you have to make your small creation become a 16 inch long piece then the second session makes these 16 inches into an actual purse...we will see what happens.

So far in May...

On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck
Blood Red Horse by K.M. Grant
The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane by Joseph Delaney

I have not had as much time to read, its no longer part of my job each month, so mostly my reading had been done audio. I of course lived the Richard Peck, is stuff is always great.

April Books

So this is my desperate attempt to catch up with the book I have been reading. I am scaling back the pictures/descriptions since I dont need to keep track of them as much anymore with the change in scope of my job.

Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn
Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley
Cupid by Julius Lester
Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky
Kiki Strike:Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller

Yup its that short!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Monday, April 02, 2007

New flowers

Look at my new flowers I planted today, they add some much needed color to my patio area.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

March books...

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon is the sequel to last years Twilight. It continues the story of Bella and her relationship with the vampire family the Cullens, particularly Edward. To keep Bella safe after an accident threatens her life Edward and the rest of the family leave. Bella has to deal with this heartbreaking lose, eventually she goes to Jacob but soon has concerns that he may be drawn into a local "cult". The story is good but does not dwell on the vampire issue as much as the last one and the new relationship away from Edward was refreshing.

Forever in Blue: Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

The fourth and final book in the Traveling Pants series is a good conclusion to the story. It follows the four girls as their lives become even more separate and the find their own paths. The girls face more adult issues such as a pregnancy scare and an almost adulterous encounter. In the end the pants are lost and the girls discover that they have learned what they needed to from the pants and are ready to live their lives without the pants but with each other there to keep them strong.

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

D.J. is a sixteen year old girl who is running her family farm. After her fathers accident he has not been able to do the work so it is up to D.J. and her younger brother to keep things going. A local football coach ends up sending one of his players over to help out and D.J. ends up working with him on the farm as well as training him for the upcoming football season, in secret. Having grown up with two football star older brothers D.J. knows what she is doing. However she finds that playing football bring something to her life that has been missing. She gets the idea that she should try out for her high school football team, much to the shock of her friends and family. For D.J. football does not solve all of her problems but it makes many things better and opens doors.

Alpha Dog by Jennifer Ziegler

This book won me over just by the title. It is the story of Katie, a sixteen year old girl who has an overbearing mother and was just dumped but her boyfriend on her birthday. Lucky for her she has already signed up for a summer school program at a college in Austin, maybe this will give her the chance to start over. Katie moves into her apartment with her ultra cool roommate. Things are not quite working out as she expected when she visits a shelter and adopts an adorable dog. Her dog turns out to be psychotic and gets Katie into all sorts of situations. Katie takes her dog to obedience classes and learns that she need to become the alpha dog not only to her dog but in her life. A good fun book.

Small Steps by Louis Sachar

A follow up story to the award winning Holes, we pick up the story of Armpit who is trying to get his life back on track since his time spent at Camp Greenlake. He is going to school and working to saving money. His friend X-ray shows up with a plan to make some quick money with an investment from Armpit. Their ticket scalping plan soon gets out of hand and takes Armpit to places he never expected to go such as meeting the famous singer whose tickets they were selling, traveling to California and making new friends.

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

The classic story of a magical nanny who comes to four children in England and changes their lives. Mary Poppins takes the children on special adventures and teaches them many thing. If you expect the book to be like the Disney movie, don't, while the basis is the same Mary is not as sweet as she is in the movie and there are many other differences. It was a decent book but not one that I would read to or recommend to children.