I Was Told There’d Be Cake

As I’ve mentioned before, I like to know how people come across any and all books they read.  While having lunch the other day with two amazing women blessings and discussing my weekly three-hour drives to see a loved one, they suggested I listen to audio books while travelling in the car.  Eureka!

The last time I can recall listening to audio books was when I drove three hours from grad school to home, which is a long time ago.  Thus, I was anxious to explore the offerings at our local library.  My squirts, now pros on two wheels, and I hopped onto the bike trail across the street from our house and found our way to Glen Carbon Centennial Library (in one piece, I might add).  Here I explored nearly four rows of books on cd, a welcome increase in selection from years past.

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A foodie at heart, the title which caught my eye was Sloane Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake, a New York Times bestseller.  A compilation of essays told in Crosley’s own voice, this was the ideal reintroduction to audio books for me.  I didn’t have to remember a cast of characters or settings.  Instead, I  only had to hone in on one nonfictional account at a time ranging from the mystery of the bowel movement found on the rug in her small New York bathroom to her near death experience with hemochromatosis (yes, I didn’t  know what this ailment was before listening either).

Crosley’s careful manipulation of words made me giggle aloud as I waited in my lane for prescriptions to be filled or checks to be cashed.  I even found myself more than a tidy bit miffed when the GPS lady interrupted as I was trying to drive to a new-to-me locale.

So, if it has been a while since you have listened to an audio book or never tried one before, pick up Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake and listen to her straightforward story told in her own words.

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Book Club Babes II: Strega Nona

Our latest first-grade book club discussion covered Miss Avery’s selection of Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona, a Caldecott Honor Book.  Yum, a book which revolves around pasta, my carb-loving body as well as my squirt’s are more than sold.

Finding a Scholastic DVD, Strega Nona . . . and more stories about magic, of the story at our award-winning Glen Carbon Centennial Library, we began the evening with a viewing of the picture book.

IMG_1523Once this was complete, participants ate an endless bowl of spaghetti much like Big Anthony followed by cake (okay, not an element of the story, but definitely a necessity).

Then, the real learning disguised as fun began under the direction of Miss Wendy, momma and teacher extraordinaire.  Covering character analysis using adjectives on slips of paper, each book club member was given an opportunity to decide whether the descriptive word in question described Strega Nona or Big Anthony.  So cool!  Even my third-grade-daughter assistant could not resist joining in on the characterization.

IMG_1541Bookies then shared from their journals . . . a picture depicting a favorite character, scene, etc. from the book and one discussion question.  Open-ended questions evoked thoughtful answers such as, “Why was Big Anthony told not to touch the pasta pot?”  Yes, tears of joy were streaming from my face at this literacy in action.

To conclude, Miss Wendy had the young ladies create a house identical to Strega Nona’s complete with a “yarn” of pasta overflowing from the pot.

Next book discussion:  Miss Elise’s selection of Stellaluna

Daisy Meets the Dog Park

WP_20141021_001While on our morning walk, Daisy and I decided to explore the Bark Park at Miner Park.  Located behind the Glen Carbon Centennial Library among mature trees, a baseball diamond, and two playgrounds, we wound our way on the paved path to the entrance.  Relieved no other dogs were present as we are on a strict no-sniff policy, an aspect of dog training learned at Cindy’s Critters.

Inside the chain link fence, we discovered grass void of any “boom booms” as my girls label number two deposits.  Refreshing!  Rules are clearly stated on the entrance gate, and the Bark Park supplies bags for clean-up as well as a conveniently located trash receptacle.

WP_20141021_010Immediately Daisy “got her sniff on.”

WP_20141021_005 WP_20141021_006 WP_20141021_008 WP_20141021_009After a time, I put her back on the leash so that we could complete our fifteen minute daily training homework assigned by Master Dog Trainer/Behaviorist John Dahman of Animal Specialties.  We have almost mastered the sit and stay with only two classes under our belt.  Oh yeah!

WP_20141021_002So, if you are a dog lover looking to explore a dog-friendly park with your four-legged best friend, be sure and visit Bark Park at Miner Park, a definite two-paws-up park.