Friday, November 30, 2012

Carol Sing

I am hosting a Carol Sing at my house tomorrow night at 5 pm (in case you actually know where that is) to celebrate the beginning of Advent.  Come on down.  We'll be using the Friends' Hymnal and Songs of the Spirit, most likely.

Hub and I moved the piano from the dining room into the living room and since we did, I have been playing much, much more.  The piano gives the living room more purpose now, I think.

So bring your instruments and your voices and some snacky thing and join in.  And if you are far away, or don't know where I live (something I don't actually share on this blog), just sing your favorite carol at 6 pm EST on December 1st.  I'll hear you in my soul.

On the subject of Advent, I just purchased a boatload of digital Advent calendars from 
Jacquie and her pals offer some lovely greeting cards for all seasons for a yearly subscription fee.  Their Advent calendars are delightful.  (Some tech snobs might criticize the animation.  Bah Humbug to them!)  So check them out.  I wish I could share the calendar with you.

If you don't want to spend any money, I found some sites that will send you to FREE Advent online Advent calendars.  One site sends you to Jan Brett's totally awesome print out, full color, Advent calendar.  But it is such a nice calendar and Jan Brett is such a wonderful illustrator here is the link to her site.

Check out these websites for links to many other Advent calendars.  I haven't checked all the links so I hope they are all active.

From Dec. 2009, Make Use Of's blog lists 10 Free Advent calendars.  The ones I checked still work.

Nature Detectives has a 2012 list of downloadable Advent activities.

Check out Activity Village's Advent calendar for this year.

This ThriftyFun list is from 2004 but most of the links still work.

Happy Waiting everyone!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Disaster ! ?

In April, we bought a new range with digital oven controls.  Two different options for self-cleaning, too.  There are knobs for the burners but to control the oven I just need to poke the right place on the touch screen.  The important words in that last sentence are "the right place."

The turkey was done.  The vegetables were roasted.  All I had to do was make the gravy.  People weren't showing up for another 40 minutes or so.  So I emptied the warming drawer and poked "Warming Drawer" on the control panel.  My finger slipped.  Do you know what control is right under the Warming Drawer area?  THE SELF CLEANING CONTROL!!!

The oven whirred and the LOC message showed up and my turkey was imprisoned in an oven that would soon heat to immense temperatures.

The ...door....would...NOT.....OPEN!


This is a close approximation of how I looked yesterday!

That wild screaming you heard coming from the East - that was me!  I could not breathe.  I could barely speak.  BUT! I could shriek and jump up and down.

I poked the touch screen wildly - The ON OFF control, the Warming Drawer, the Self Clean control, the On Off control again.  The oven remained LOCKED. NOOOOOO!!!!!!

I pounded down the basement stairs to the breaker box and snapped all the kitchen circuits off.  Hub calmly called down that the oven was still on and still locked.

Back to the breaker box.  Of course, the range was on its own circuit.  Snap!

I raced upstairs - gabbling wildly and crying "Oh! Oh! Oh no!"  and other useful phrases like, "My turkey will burn up!  Smoke!  Help!"  And the ever helpful "I AM SO STUPID!!"

Hub stood by calmly, saying.  "Don't worry.  It will be all right. "  And he looked for the oven's manual.

Smart man!  I knew where the manual was and half crying, half shrieking the entire time, I turned to the pages about the Self Cleaning cycle and read this.

"To pause or stop the Self Cleaning cycle, push the On/Off control.  The oven will unlock when the temperature returns to a safe level."


So I ran downstairs and snapped the range circuit back on and raced back upstairs.  I poked the On/Off control and waited, rocking from one foot to the other and wringing my hands.  Within 3 minutes, the oven door was unlocked.  The turkey was intact and a lovely brown.  The vegetables were still delicious.  Thanksgiving was saved!

I am thankful for my husband.  His unruffled manner helped me find a solution.  Still, I wish we had the event on video. The whole incident would make a good entry on America's Funniest Home Videos!

Hope your Thanksgiving was lovely and love-filled.

Monday, November 19, 2012

KBWT - Twenty by Jenny

Time to revisit one of my early website recommendations - especially since book gift-giving season is right around the corner.  Written by Jennifer M. Brown, a current writer for School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews - (ok, I'm impressed) -, Twenty by Jenny offers lists of classic books for 4 different age groups.   She reviews books monthly and you can subscribe to her online newsletter for updates.

Check out her blog, for Encounters of the Literary Kind, and more in-depth kids' books news.  There is a delightful background look at the beginnings of Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. and Erin E.Stead on Jenny's blog.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Tellabration is the International Day of Storytelling and it is held the Saturday before Thanksgiving!  So next Saturday...- I KNOW!  Thanksgiving is just around the corner!!  How did this happen? -

Anyway, next Saturday, here in the Lehigh Valley there will be THREE - not one, not two but THREE - Tellabration events.

Event one:
The best one in my humble opinion - because, ahem, I will be telling with Tom Egan, - is at the Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity (yep, that's the official name) at 11 am.  Expect family fun, kid and parent friendly stories and maybe even an accordion song or two.

Event two:

Ok.  This event might be the best one.  It's at the Monroe Campus of NCC and it happens at 2:30 pm.  And Larry Sceurman and Tina Fowler will be teeling stories there.  Oh man!  You have to hear those stories.

Event three:

I can't decide.  These tellers are awesome.  Chaz Kiernan and Ingrid Bohn will tell stories at the South Side campus of NCC at 3 pm.
Good old Chaz.  I wonder who he will channel on Saturday.
So, join with millions of other story lovers and come to a Tellabration event.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Don't be bored today - or ever.  Check out  There's a book, too.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

KBWThurs. Carol Hurst - Busy Town

Whoa! the past two weeks have been chaotic as most people on the East Coast know.  Dad's in the hospital with pneumonia.  I'd like to blame Sandy but I don't think a hurricane can cause pneumonia.  So there's been a lot of to-ing and fro-ing.

In the meantime, family members are arriving from all over because Dad is pretty sick.  Poor Dad! 

Anyway, KBWT did not happen this week but I just found a website that I am going to use A LOT!  Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site.  Teachers and children's activity leaders will LOVE this site.  Helpful  reviews, booklists, a newsletter, links to other helpful sites, lesson plans!  So much useful well-organized stuff.

I needed a resource list for cities and towns because today is World Town Planning Day and Carol Hurst's site had an excellent list with books I SHOULD have remembered to include in my program tonight.  I just signed up for Carol's newsletter so that I never forget this site again.  YAY!

And World Town Planning Day reminds me of one of my favorite towns - Richard Scarry's Busy Town!!  CBS has a great site based on their Busy Town Mysteries show.   Check it out

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I got to the polls at 6:55 am and I was about 20th in line.  By 7 am, when the machines opened, there were over 50 people waiting to vote.  Such a change from last Spring when I just walked in - refused to show ID because I'm a rebel and it wasn't The Law yet - and voted.  BTW, after all the brouhaha about IDs in PA, no one asked ANYONE to show ID this morning.

There is still time.  If you have not voted, DO IT NOW. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Long, long, loooooong week

Oh that Sandy!  What a character! She blew out the power in millions of homes, including my parents.  So, since no one else has power, Mom and Dad stayed with Hub and I until this morning.  My Reader's Theater event - featuring the works of the amazing David Lubar and the talents of 11 of Nazareth's finest 4th, 5th and 6th graders - was moved from Tuesday to Thursday but went off very well - prop malfunctions and all.

The Son, DIL and most adorable grand-daughter also stayed here - but in the apartment where the other grandmother lives.  So we got to see Her Sweetness every day.

My Dad is not doing all that well  (understatement alert) so my youngest sister flew in from the West Coast to "help out".  What a blessing!  And I can not say enough about what a wonderful husband I have.

Hold us in the Light as we travel the continuously rocky terrain of the land of ailing elders.