Thursday, January 29, 2015

Some Big Football Game This Weekend...

Super Bowl Weekend.  Million-dollar commercials.  Elsa is singing the National Anthem.  Eighty-seven kinds of chip and dip combos headline on Pinterest.  Deflated footballs, Skittles, and Beast Mode have all swept into Phoenix this week.  My favorite part of the Super-Bowl hoopla is the LEGOs.  My Ninja, inspired by his passion for Seahawks football and admiration for #3 (Russell Wilson, in case you've been living under a rock), brings his fandom to a new level with this Super Bowl XLIX brick tribute.  And, yes, we have been studying Roman numerals this week, too.

The Pats' starting line-up--you can tell by the Belichick hoodie.
Sky-Cam View.
Aerial view provided by GoodMet Snoopy Year.
The Lombardi Trophy.

Don't tell anybody--it's one of those pix 
they give to the "team" up in the booth.

50-yard line.  We had to get a second mortgage for these tickets.

Pete Carroll--it's the hair.

The Champion's Stage--and the Ninja's Super Bowl Prediction.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hump-Day Hilarity: It's For the Birds...

My Ninja and I have been studying birds for the past few weeks.  Penguins, ostriches, hornbills, and the like.  We have chuckled over "dating and mating" rituals that involve a great deal of primping, strutting, and all-around showing off, on the part of the male.  While there are species that offer food as a invitation to mate (the Kingfisher) or offer up a delightful croon to woo their potential Mrs. (the Pigeon), it is the Bowerbird that brings much delightful hilarity to our Science lessons.

In order to attract a mate, the male Satin Bowerbird, builds a bower (a platform or stage) and decorates it with colorful and shiny objects--flowers, pebbles, and even bottle caps.  The male then calls to the female and the "hey-baby-wanna-be-my-girl?" dance begins.  

I'm glad I'm not a gull.  The male coughs up some food for his would-be bride to eat.  Literally.  I much prefer a candle-lit dinner for two, without "pre-owned" vittles.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"...Where Everybody Knows Your Name..."

 I am "carbon-dating" myself here but I know that some of you will remember the television show, Cheers.  Set in a Boston tavern, such unforgettable characters like Norm, Cliff, Sam, Coach and Woody, warmed the stools and served up "beverages".  Despite the hilarity of the show and the accumulation of Emmy awards, it is the theme song that has stuck with me for years.  "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name--and they're always glad you came..."

We live in such an itinerant society.  Gone are the days, for most people, where immediate and extended family lived in the same town--or at least within a few miles.  I remember when we relocated to Memphis (home of the multi-generational network) and new friends were inquiring about our move.  "Wow, you've moved around quite a bit!", was their sympathetic reply.  I didn't think it was abnormal; but, for those who had been born, raised, married, and carpooled in the same city all of their lives, I was quite the globetrotter.

The inestimable value of community and having a place to call home (or having a place to rest your soul that engenders that Cheers kind of sentiment) is especially meaningful for those "away from home".  Or perhaps for those whose own home is not a safe place, a loving place, a place where they can just be. 

Recently, Ann Voskamp re-posted a poignant piece by Sally Clarkson that points us to the importance of home.  Mrs. Clarkson says, "People have dwellings—apartments, houses, dorm rooms—but they do not have a sense of sanctuary, refuge, a harbor for their wandering souls, where life is preserved, protected, and cultivated so that the daily needs of their hearts and souls are satisfied."

As those who have been given the gift of a home--and a door that swings open--we are called to share that space.  It need not be decorated by Southern Living-touted artists or adorned with the latest in trendy bling.  Waterford and Lenox are not required.  We simply need to open the door.
"Indeed one of the glories of life is to craft a home that truly is a welcome to body, mind and soul -and the fulfillment of creating such a space is a deeply satisfying work of life," Clarkson goes on to say.  A haven that is built with trust, accented with laughter, and arranged with comfortable coziness is the House Beautiful.  

Take off your shoes and stay awhile.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hump-Day Hilarity: A Serving of Veggies

One of my favorite Veggie Tales' "Silly Songs".  Ever. 
Any resemblance to past or existing boy bands is purely intentional. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Let's Be Cops

This video makes me giggle. It just cracks me up that he goes from Groovy Cop to Serious Cop--with the nod and authoritative wave. And, I know that the song will stay...and stay...and your brain.  At least, you'll be in good company.  Or you could try and, dare I say it?  Shake it off.  Nope, that would be corny.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

Reading Challenge P.S.

For any of you who might be interested, I have "created" a Pinterest widget board that will appear on my blog (I am so high-tech now) to display some of our Challenge reads.  If you want to join the fun, just let me know and I will invite you to join the Board.  There, you can Pin the books you're reading and inspire us all to further heights of literary glory! Or, if you're just curious about what floats the boat of other bibliophiles, feel free to take a gander.

Oh, and I am adding one new category to my list:  "A book by an author you actually know".  Yes, I am all about shameless pal promotion.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Extravagant Journeys: A 2015 Reading Challenge

A beloved bibliophile pal of mine shared this categorically-unique reading challenge with me.   Should you choose to accept this mission, you might read books that feature non-human characters, sport a one-word title, are in the "classic romance" genre (I'm presuming that means something along the lines of Jane Eyre or Pride & Prejudice.  I don't think my vintage set of Sweet Valley High books would qualify), and a book based on a true story.  

You could also choose from the bottom of your to-read list. For those of us on GoodReads who add books to that particular shelf on a daily basis, you might have a title that has been there since 2012.  Okay, so I have days on which I add titles on an hourly basis.  You caught me.

I'm going to take a deep breath and plunge into this challenge.  Might you be interested, dear reader?  Please let me know.  I'm not here to debate complex questions like, "What if there is a book that is a one-word title, based on a true story, and is 100 years old?  Does that count for all three?".  That is entirely up to you.  In addition, the form of the book makes no never mind to me--e-book, Kindle, audio, or good old-fashioned hardcover--whatever floats your boat.  

"You have everything needed for the extravagant journey that is your life, " says Carlos Castaneda.   

So, here's to the extravagant journeys upon which we will embark as we turn the pages in 2015.  It's like Forrest's box of chocolates--you never know what you're gonna get.

For the complete post and Reading Challenge 2015 printable list, click here.