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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Never Never - Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

A few friends have mentioned 
having read 
Never Never
and loving it.
So of course,
I had to add it to my TBR list. 
And I'm solo glad
I did!

Charlie and Silas
are at school.
When suddenly,
they realise they have no idea
where they are,
or who they are.
They have no memories at all.

Eventually they realise,
they are both in the same position.
They learn they have been dating for the last 4 years.
They learn their relationship has been rocky 
recently.
But they still have no idea who they are
or what has happened to them.

Never Never follows their journey
to learn what has happened to them.
It covers 48 hours in their life,
then,
it suddenly ends,
making you wait for.....


Did you ever see that
Friends episode
where Joey is reading
Little Women and it gets sad
so he puts the book in the freezer
to "cool off" a little?

Well,
that's what 
Never Never Part Two
did to me.

Every couple of chapters,
I had to put the iPad down
and calm myself down a little. 

Silas suddenly finds himself in his car.
He has no memory of how he got there.
In fact,
he has no memory of who he is.
He finds papers and letters all around him
saying that this has happened before.
For the past week,
every 48 hours,
at 11:00 am,
he looses his memory.

Charlie has gone missing.
And it's up to Silas to find her.
But with no memory of who they are
how can he do this?

So now...
I wait...
for Part Three to come out.
Soon. 
I hope.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Eighth Grave After Dark - Darynda Jones

Charley's back!!!
I love her.
If she were not a fictional character
we'd be buds!
She's crazy, sarcastic
and loves coffee.

Although in this 8th installment
she's pregnant and off the 
caffeine.

Charley and her husband,
Reyes,
also known as Satan's son,
have taken refuge in an old convent.
The 12 Hellhounds
are after her
and her unborn baby.
This is the one place
they are all safe,
on sacred grounds.

But this is Charley.
You know she'll find trouble,
or does it find her?
Her step-mother,
who always mistreated her,
suddenly wants to make amends.
Reyes seems to be getting sick
and weak.
And then, 
she's given a case.
A teen has gone missing.

And all this happens, 
just as she's about to pop!




Writer's Workshop - A Visit with the Principal

Tell us about a time you were sent to the Principal's
office.


It was the third grade.
I was a fairly quiet one.
I think.
I was a pretty decent kid.
I think.

But that was all about to change.

One winter day,
I took the school bus home.
We had those bus patrols.
You know,
those sixth graders,
who wore a bright orange sash,
and were allowed to walk
and stand on the bus,
while everyone had to be seated.
Someone behind me
wrote in the frost on the window.
I turned to my friend,
sitting next to me,
to see if she could figure out what was written.
I recall me just turning my head.
But maybe,
and I highly doubt it cos I was a good kid,
I stood up.
All I remember
is one of the bus patrols
coming up to my friend and I
pointing into our faces and yelling
"I'm reporting you!"

Remember,
I was a good kid.
Being reported on was a big deal.
What it entailed?
Darn if I know.
I just remember being terrified.

So the next day,
I quietly get on the bus.
I don't look up, side, or back.
I get to school,
terrified.
And then it happens.
I'm saved
(or so I think).

My friend's older sister
didn't do her homework
or something
and doesn't want to get in trouble.
So she comes up with a brilliant plan.
And I mean brilliant.

We skip school!
We walk home
(it's bloody winter)
and hang out in her backyard
(did I mention it's winter?)

After what seems like hours,
we hear a car,
and there is my friend's parents.

Turns out,
a friend of mine
saw me on the bus,
saw me leave
and told on me.
The school called my mum
and my friend's mum
who then came to get us.

We were dragged to school
where
you guessed it
we went straight to the
Principal's office!




Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy Birthday Dad

I've learned that
regardless of your
relationship with your
parents,
you'll miss them
when they're gone
from your life.
                               - Maya Angelou



Today would be my dad's birthday.
Tomorrow marks
6 months since his accident.
And I am still fluctuating
between
denial and anger.
I haven't really moved beyond that.
And while members of my family
celebrate a wedding this weekend.
I miss my dad.

I miss my dad.
Everyday.
I cry at least 4 times a week.

I'm in denial,
cos I still can't believe he's gone.
We hadn't been very close
in years,
but I am having a hard time understanding
that I can't just call him.
Or see him.
Ever again.

And I'm angry.
Not for him leaving,
but for everyone else
who feels they can tell me
what he would want.

I've been wanting to write 
a beautiful birthday post
for my dad,
but every time I start
I go off on one tangent
or another.

It never comes out right.

But it's his birthday today,
and since I can't wish him a 
happy one,
I'm going to stop being angry for 
five minutes.

My dad taught me to value one's family.
He loved his siblings.
They were the world to them.
My brother and I 
may not have been close growing up
but he's the best baby brother a girl
could ask for.

My dad believed you could do anything
you set your mind to.
He's taught me
the importance of the encouraging word.

My dad loved to travel.
He showed me there was a big wide world,
just outside your door.
You could learn a lot,
just by hopping on a plane to a new destination.
And when you get there,
take advantage of what there is,
no matter how small it may seem.

It hurts that he is gone.
2015 is an amazing year.
He'd be so proud of everything 
that's going on.

I have a cousin
who got into an amazing Masters
program.
When she told me,
I thought
I can't wait till dad hears.

Meanwhile,
her sister got engaged.
Dad will be so thrilled!

And another cousin is expecting.
Dad has another great niece/nephew to spoil.

Each time good news comes,
I'm angry that dad won't be here
to see these things.
But,
I will soon learn to breathe
and remember
that he sees it all
and that he's smiling at us.

So dad,
for your birthday,
I promise to try
to be angry less.
I will try.
And since that's all you ever asked of me
that I try,
I know you'll be proud.

I've learnt
that people will forget what you've said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget
how you made them feel.
       - Maya Angelou


Happy birthday dad.












Thursday, May 21, 2015

Writer's Workshop - Throwback

Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo
from a previous May and write a poem
or a blog post.

May 9th, 2014

Dessert

Artistic, appealing
and airy. 

Beautiful, blissful
and bursting with flavour.

Crunchy caramel
crisp and creamy.

Decadant, delicate
and delicious.

Elegant, exceptional
and enjoyable.

Flavourful, fulfilling
and fantastic.

Glorious, gourmet
golden goodies.

Heavenly, high calorie,
house-specialty.

Inspiring, irresistible
and indulgent. 

Lavish, light
and lip-smacking.

Melt-in-your-mouth,
and magical.

One-of-a-kind,
orginial.

Petite, precious
and prized. 

Sweet, sticky,
and smooth.









Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Shadows - J.R. Ward

Meet Trez and iAm.
The Shadows.
Twin brothers
born into the S'Hsibe tribe.
When their parents sell
Trez to the Queen of the S'Hsibe
he and his brother escape the territory.
And while Trez leads a life
of self-destruction,
iAm lives to protect his brother.

The Shadows focuses,
primarily,
on these twins.
Trez has fallen in love with
the Chosen Selena,
but tragedy has fallen.
And now he's torn between
his love and his fate.
The romance and love
these two have is beautiful.

While Trez does what he can
to fulfill Selena's wishes,
iAm returns to the territory in hopes of
finding a cure, an answer.
Not having ever thought of himself,
iAm is now torn between
helping his brother
and meeting his destiny.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Daywalker - Tessa Dawn

Being a huge 
Blood Curse
fan,
when I saw this short by Tessa Dawn
I knew I had to read it.

Daywalker is a re-release
of a previously published book
under her pseudo-name.
It looks like it's the beginning of a series,
but it's hard to tell from the short.

Lacy Logan decides to start a
paranormal-investigation business.
On her first day,
a strange man walks in,
and basically sucks up her essence.
She learns she has cancer 
and has been given less than a month to live.

Lacy decides to find this dark stranger
and get him to give her
her life back.
And this is where she learns
there are things that live in the dark.
She is thrown into a world
of demons and dragons
and must fight for her life.
Literally!

Unsure how I feel about this book.
But we shall see what the second one
is like.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Writer's Workshop - Mom Poem

Write a poem for you Mother.

My mom was there
when I learnt to walk,
when I learnt to talk
and when I learnt to yell.

My mom was there
to buy me clothes,
paint my toes
and brush my hair.

My mom was there
to introduce me
to the joys of tea,
soap operas
and Indian movies.

My mom was there
when I was good,
when I was bad
and when I was mad.

My mom taught me
about makeup, 
waxing
and how to collect bags and
shoes.

My mom is wise
caring,
and brave.

I never gave her much credit
growing up.
After all,
I was Daddy's Girl.

My mom has a heart of gold
that holds more love
than you will ever know.

So dearest mom,
I just wanted to say
I love you
and
Happy Mother's Day.







Hitched - Dawn Rae Miller

If someone were to ask me
to name my favorite authors,
Dawn Rae Miller
would top it.
What makes her so great,
is her ability to get you to 
feel her characters.
You love them.
You care about them.
You feel like they are your friends.

A few years back,
I read Crushed.
I fell in love with Fletch.
The way the story was written,
it came to an end.
I never thought they'd be more.

But there was.

Hitched
picks up 5 years later.
Ellie and Fletch have broken up.
They meet again after 2 years
to attend their friend's wedding.
Still hurt,
Ellie isn't sure she can handle the weekend.

This is a lovely story.
While they are not many surprises,
what captures you are the characters.
From chapter 2,
I could not put the book down,
as I hurt.
Ellie hurt,
and I hurt.
I needed to know she would get better.
I needed to read on.
When Ellie was happy,
I was happy.

It's an easy read.
With the summer coming,
if you need a good beach book,
this one's for you.


Creating Cultures of Thinking - Ron Ritchhart

I'm a huge 
Cultures of Thinking fan.
I try to incorporate thinking routines
into my lessons.
I've started looking at ways to make
thinking visible.
I've started focusing more on
the thinking
and less on 
the knowledge.

came out with a new book,
you know I had to read it.

Creating Cultures of Thinking
breaks down the 8 forces
teachers and schools need to look at
to ensure they are in fact
creating these cultures.

The eight forces that share culture are:
1) Expectations - what you expect for students not of them
2) Language - name the thinking that goes on
3) Time - do you give students time to think?
4) Modeling - teachers should model thinking
5) Opportunities - create learning opportunities that are inviting
6) Routines - besides daily transition routines, thinking routines are also important
7) Interactions - shape meaningful collaboration and learning
8) Environment - that shows you value learning

Reading this book
has made me reflect on my own practices.
Do I emphasis learning and thinking
as much as I could/should?
It has also made me 
look at the different classrooms I teach it.
I look at their use of space
and what it shows that they value.
It makes me think about my own classroom
(when I have one)
and what I want my students
to know I value.

If you want a book to make you think
about your own teaching practices,
in a good way,
this is the one for you.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rainy Day Cooking

It has been raining.
A lot.
Our road is flooded,
the traffic sucks.
It's utter mayhem!

It rained again today.
So much so,
that afterschool activities were cancelled.
Ethan usually has his 
French Pastry class
on Tuesdays,
but this was also cancelled.

So Ethan and I came home from school,
thinking we'd have a quiet
afternoon.
I thought Ethan was playing upstairs
when I hear him call me.
He needs a little help.
I look up from my book,
and see he's wearing his apron.
"Oh sweet. He wants to bake together."
I think.

As I walk into the kitchen,
I see Ethan has all his ingredients
measured out.
He's making 
Blueberry Tea Cake.


Beating the butter, eggs & sugar.


Adding the flour.


And now the blueberries.


In the pan it goes. 


TaDa!


Yum!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bucket Bath

When Ethan was little,
our nanny would fill a bucket with water,
put it out on the deck,
plop Ethan in it,
and this was his bath.
He loved it!


In Zambia,
we got rid of the bucket
and introduced Ethan to bathing in the bathtub.

Our return to Dar,
meant Ethan graduated from the bathtub
to the shower.
And he hasn't looked back.

Until now.

Currently, 
in school,
Ethan is learning about water.
Besides the water cycle,
he's learning how we use water,
and our responsibility.

This week,
Ethan was asked to take a bucket bath for homework.
Part of his inquiry has been
learning about the world's supply of clean water.
Ethan has learnt that there are many people
who do not have access to clean water.
Everyday, 
they must fill a bucket of water
and carry it home.
This water is used to bathe in.
So, 
this was Ethan's challenge. 

Ethan fills his bucket from the garden hose
He tries to lift it, but it was too heavy
Ethan uses a smaller container to get himself wet.
Brrrr.....it's cold
Ethan had a lot of fun.
However,
it's amazing what he learnt.
He had to think of a way to heat the water
without using a lot of energy.
He realized how heavy a bucket of water is
and gained a lot of empathy and admiration
for those who need to do this several times a day
everyday.