What an Animal!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


The Challenge: Read six books that have an animal in the title, an animal on the cover, an animal that plays a major role in the book, or a main character that is, or turns into, an animal.

This challenge runs from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009.

I think this challenge is right up my alley - but it was the button that won me over.

1. To Dance With the White Dog by Terry Kay - Finished July 20, 2008
2. Bliss to You: Trixie's Guide to a Happy Life by Trixie Koontz - Finished August 8, 2008
3. A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas - Finished August 16, 2008

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 22 - 24

Post-Event Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 18 - 19 really did me in.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I enjoyed Lottery by Patricia Wood

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No, had a great time.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The challenges were a blast and support from the cheerleaders really helped.

5. How many books did you read? 2

6. What were the names of the books you read? Evening Star by Carolyn Brown, Nella Last's War and Lottery

7. Which book did you enjoy most? Lottery

8. Which did you enjoy least? Nella Last's War - It was a little dry.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I think they did a great job!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I would like to participate again - as a reader.

Read-a-Thon Update #8


Well, there was a time when I could stay awake all night....
But apparently, not any more. I petered out at about 3:00.
After a short power nap, I am back!

Read-a-Thon Update #7


Title of book(s) read this hour: Lottery
Books finished since you started: Evening Star by Carolyn Brown, Lottery by Patricia Wood

Pages read: 247
Running total of pages read since you started: 611

Amount of time spent reading: 2 hours
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 7 hours 50 minutes
Total time spent blogging/reading blogs: 3 hours 40 minutes

Mini-challenges: Intro Meme, Webcomic Challenge, Quote Challenge, Readers of the Hour, Mid-Event Survey, Poem Challenge

Other participants visited: Read entries on Google Reader

Prize you’ve won: None

Read-a-Thon Update #6

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Title of book(s) read this hour: Lottery
Books finished since you started: Evening Star by Carolyn Brown

Pages read: 58
Running total of pages read since you started: 364

Amount of time spent reading: 55 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 5 hours 50 minutes
Total time spent blogging/reading blogs: 3 hours 20 minutes

Mini-challenges: Intro Meme, Webcomic Challenge, Quote Challenge, Readers of the Hour, Mid-Event Survey, Poem Challenge

Other participants visited: Read entries on Google Reader

Prize you’ve won: None

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 13


I have never been a big fan of poetry, but this one really gets to me. the very first time I read it - I cried. I read it again before I posted it - I cried. Of course, it is about a dog. It gives new meaning to "dog is man's best friend."



Epitaph To a Dog


Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains Of one
who possessed
Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.
This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
BOATSWAIN, A DOG.

Who was born at Newfoundland May 1803
And died in Newstead Nov. 18th 1808.

When some proud son of man returns to Earth,
Unknown by Glory, but upheld by Birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And stories urns record that rests below.
When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own,
Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Deny'd in heaven the Soul he held on earth –
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit.
By nature vile, ennoble but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye! who behold perchance this simple urn,
Pass on, it honors none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one – and here he lies.

- Lord Byron’s tribute to “Boatswain,” on a monument in the garden of Newstead Abbey.




Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 12


I am back from dinner and my walk, and ready to get started. Before I do, here's the next challenge:

1. What are you reading right now? Lottery by Patricia Wood

2. How many books have you read so far? One

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Lottery

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? No, my day went on pretty much as normal. The only difference is that my husband keeps asking, "What page are you on now?"

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Just a family dinner and my walk. Both were a welcome break.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How slow I am reading.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I think it's been great so far.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Pick shorter, more entertaining books.

9. Are you getting tired yet? Nope.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? I notice that I keep moving to different rooms of the house to read - the bedroom in the morning, the living room couch in the afternoon. Maybe that helps keep things interesting.

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 9

Well, I have finally finished my first book. I learned one lesson - do not choose 'heavy' books to start out the challenge. The first book I chose Nella Last's War is very good, but it was slow going. I think I will put that one aside until after the challenge.






I'm now going to take up Dewey's challenge and take my dogs for a walk!






Happy Reading!!!

Read-a-Thon Update #5

Title of book(s) read this hour: Evening Star
Books finished since you started: Evening Star by Carolyn Brown WOO HOO!

Pages read: 110
Running total of pages read since you started: 306

Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour 10 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 4 hours 55 minutes
Total time spent blogging/reading blogs: 2 hours 30 minutes

Mini-challenges: Intro Meme, Webcomic Challenge, Quote Challenge, Readers of the Hour

Other participants visited: Read entries on Google Reader

Prize you’ve won: None

Read-a-Thon Update #4

Title of book(s) read this hour: Evening Star
Books finished since you started: 0

Pages read: 61
Running total of pages read since you started: 196

Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 3 hours 45 minutes
Total time spent blogging/reading blogs: 2 hours

Mini-challenges: Intro Meme, Webcomic Challenge, Quote Challenge, Readers of the Hour

Other participants visited: Read entries on Google Reader

Prize you’ve won: None

Read-a-Thon Update #3

Title of book(s) read this hour: Evening Star (I had to give Nella Last a little break)
Books read since you started: 0

Pages read: 72
Running total of pages read since you started: 135

Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total time spent blogging/reading blogs: 1 hour 15 minutes

Mini-challenges: Intro Meme, Webcomic Challenge

Other participants visited: Read entries on Google Reader

Prize you’ve won: None

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 4


The Challenge: Post your favorite quote.

"Sometimes I feel very old - old as time - accepting things that a short time ago I would have striven to alter. A fatalistic 'sayonari' seems to be settling on me like fine, sifted dust."

Nella Last's War p. 40

Read-a-Thon Update #2

Title of book(s) read this hour: Nella Last's War
Number of books read since you started: Still on #1

Pages read: 27
Running total of pages read since you started: 63

Amount of time spent reading: 45 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 1 hour 45 minutes
Time spent blogging/reading blogs: 45 minutes

Mini-challenge this hour: Webcomic Challenge

Other participants visited: Andreea and Samantha

Prize you’ve won: None

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 2


The Challenge: Spend 10 minutes reading a webcomic and write a short post about it.

I chose to read No Rest for The Wicked - and I really enjoyed it.

This webcomic is a new take on traditional fairytales. When the story begins, you are introduced to Princess November and her family. You will recognize them and their 'afflictions' from the stories you read in grade school. Princess November's story begins with her sensitivity to peas and her inability to sleep - sound familiar? She runs away and, after meeting an old woman on the road, is given the key to curing her sleeplessness...

No Rest For The Wicked is filled with wonderful illustrations and clever writing.

Read-a-Thon Update #1

I got off to a little bit of a late start. Here is where I'm at so far.

Title of book(s) read this hour: Nella Last's War
Number of books read since you started: 1
Pages read: 36
Running total of pages read since you started: 36
Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 1 hour
Mini-challenge this hour: Introduction Meme
Other participants visited: None Yet
Prize you’ve won: None

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 1

Where are you reading from today? El Paso, Texas - where the temperature will be 101 today.

3 facts about me:
1. I am married with a 15 year old son.
2. I have two four-legged children - they rank right up there with my son.
3. I teach special education.

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? Well, I have about 75 books in my TBR pile altogether, so I will choose from those.

Do you have any goals for the Read-a-Thon? I would like to get through the books that I have been dying to read, but haven't had the time.

Any advice for people doing this for the first time? This is my first time participating, and I'm just going to have fun with it - no pressure.

One Day Until the Read-a-Thon

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Read-a-Thon begins tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Mountain Time). I will try to blog here every hour or so - using Dewey's template.

My posts will include:

Title of book(s) read this hour:
Number of books read since you started:
Pages read:
Running total of pages read since you started:
Amount of time spent reading:
Running total of time spent reading since you started:
Mini-challenge this hour:
Other participants visited:
Prize you’ve won:


My first book will be Nella Last's War - it has been hard not to cheat and start it ;) After that, I'll just have to wait and see.

Good Luck!

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chillkat Eagle Preserve, Alaska







Digital Scrapbooking

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Because I have the summer off, I tried to come up with a project to occupy my time. I realized that if I don't do this, I will end up spending three months in bed - watching reality television.

This summer, I decided to organize our vacation photos using a digital scrapbook. Actually, this project has been a lot of fun. The program I'm using, Memory Mixer, is very user friendly. The website has a lot of information, such as example pages, as well as downloads you can purchase for as little as $4.00.

Once my pages are complete, I will send them to a company that will print them up and snail mail them back to me - at a pretty reasonable price. It sure beats all the cutting and pasting of traditional scrapbooks!


Sedona 2007

Last summer, we spent a week in Sedona, Arizona - one of the most beautiful places on the planet!


We spent a day 'Jeeping' around Sedona. This was the highlight of our trip!



The Kiddo loved the Jeep!


After we recovered from that, we took the train to the Grand Canyon.



I will post pages as I get them done. In the meantime, check out the website for ideas!

Read-a-Thon



The Challenge: Read for 24 hours. Sounds easy, right? After all I am a night person and I do have a lot of books to catch up on. This challenge will give me a chance to do just that!



Some of the books I plan on reading:

Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh (finishing)
Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes
Nella Last's War by Nella Last
But Inside I'm Screaming by Elizabeth Flock
The Space Between Us by Thirty Umrigar
Evening Star by Carolyn Brown
Lost & Found by Jacqueline Sheehan
Tea by Stacey S'Erasmo


In addition to just reading I will be updating my blog, reading other blogs, and participating in challenges set up by Dewey. Remember to check back on Saturday to see how things are going.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Aren't parents embarrassing?


Weekly Geeks #7 - Where I Live

Sunday, June 15, 2008






I have lived most of my life in the desert. As a child, it was awful - hot, dry, hot, brown, hot, dusty, and did I mention hot??? As an adult, I can't imagine ever leaving the desert. I have traveled around the world and lived in beautiful places but the beauty of the desert still chokes me up.













People sometimes find it difficult to believe that the desert is full of life. Today, I saw rabbits, lizards, birds, and even a lonely steer.












He wasn't wild - he's a very well-fed steer.











Granted, there are time the heat is unbearable - today it is 104 - but, the winter's are mild and the skies are almost always blue.

And, of course, no place I live would be complete without my babies - human and spoiled.






















Chloe Loves Summer

Friday, June 13, 2008

We got Chloe in February when she was four months old. Now that she is eight months old, the vet has declared she will be "short in stature." Translation - she will be a very small Golden Retriever. But, all things considered, I would not give her up for anything!

I discover new things about Chloe every day. Today, I discovered that she loves to play in the sprinkler!




video


Blaze, on the other hand, is your typical inside dog. He is excited by soft pillows and chew toys -- not water sports!


Freedom!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It has been a tough three weeks. As a high school teacher, the last two weeks of school are the worst! Between exams, grades, finalizing lesson plans, turning in keys, and thirty kids who don't want to see me again for three months - I run myself ragged. Every year, it seems, I spend the first week of summer comatose.

So, it goes without saying that I haven't been reading. Every book I pick up, I put right back down. But, the dry spell in over. I am currently reading My Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh. Expect a review soon!