Quote of the Day


Short History of Tractors in the Ukraine by Marina Lewycka

This will be a reviewette. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian was fun. It was amusing. Occasionally I think about the characters. The story revolves around a daughter and her old widowed dad and her dad's gold-digging not-quite-mail-order but nearly so new wife.

Dad is also writing a short history about Ukrainian tractors and large portions of the manuscript are included. I suspect that the tractor story and the (not)love story share deep thematic connections, but I was too beleaguered to catch it. There must be some deep something-er-other that I missed, as the book has been translated into a zillion languages and won big prizes, and I would count it as beach reading. So, surely, I have missed something.

How about if you give it a go, and fill me in?~Suzanne


Friday Poetry is here!

This week, Friday Poetry is hosted right here.

Because I have small children that require food and cuddles and attention every 2.5 minutes, the round-up will happen in fits and spurts throughout the weekend. Probably I'll have it done just in time for y'all to lose interest and move on to other things.

Sharing originals:
Lisa Chellman has contributed an original poem, "_dent_ty Theft"
Laura Shovan shares original poems by both of her kids. One is a personification poem inspired by Calef Brown's "The Runaway Waffle." The other is a metaphor poem, "My Family is a Snare Drum."
Wild Rose Reader (Original Winter Poems)
Jill Corcoran (Original Poem)
Schelle shares an original poem inspired by Monday's Poetry Stretch: Dragonfly.
David E at fomagrams has surprised himself that he is writing poems instead of showcasing others; he is sharing one with us that captures a moment from the inauguration.

Speciality poems:
Susan Writes (poetry from incarcerated teens)
Laura Salas (15 Words or Less

Silly poems
Jama is in today with "This Little Piggy Went to Market" which she paired with roast beef sandwiches for lunch :)!
Janet (C is for Cookie)
Nandini (The Walrus and the Carpenter)

Seasonal poems:
Wild Rose Reader (Original Winter Poems)
Becky at Farm School (Phyllis McGinley on January)
Tiel Aisha Ansari (Winter Geese)
Shelf Elf (A Dust of Snow)
Fiddle posted, in honor of a son's birthday and at his request, Snow in the Suburbs by Thomas Hardy.

Furry Poems
Mary Lee asks us if we too harbor a secret Dog Wish.

Billy Collins
Kurious Kitty talks about Billy Collins\' Ballistics
Yat-Yee (Billy Collins)

Elizabeth Alexander
Julie Larios has a poem by Katha Pollitt over at The Drift Record, plus a few thoughts about Elizabeth Alexander's "Praise Song for the Day."
MotherReader (video of Elizabeth Alexander with Stephen Colbert)

About writing
Carol Wilcox's poem this week is in honor of two YA librarians from Greenwich, CT.
Jenny ( a first time participant) shares a poem about Re-Reading Frost

Not poetry - but about poetry
Just One More Book! Children's Book Podcast (Falling For Rapunzel)

Not yet sorted
John Mutford shares a Langston Hughes.
Jennifer Knoblock at Ink for Lit shares the poetry behind a couple of favorite hymns.

Stacey (I left my head)
Sara Lewis Holmes (Tales From Outer Suburbia)
Tricia (The Seedling by Paul Laurence Dunbar)
cloudscome (e.e. cummings)
Laura Salas (Bling, by The Killers)
Stenhouse Publishers (Flight to Limbo)
Sylvia (Remembering friends)
Kelly Polark
Mike Thomson (Suheir Hammad)
Chicken Spaghetti (Phyllis McGinley)
Tracie Zimmer
Blue Rose Girls (Children of Our Era by Wislawa Szymborska)
Karen Edmisten shares some Updike, who passed away earlier this week.
Little Willow
Angela Redden
Liz in Ink -- Patchen
Mary Ann Scheuer
Kelly Fineman (epigrams)
Jennie (The Red Wheelbarrow)
Sweetness and Light (Poe and Burns)
Miss Erin (hope)
Barbara of the Write Sisters shares a poem of Harold Pinter
douglas florian
Christy Lenzi
Sarah (thereadingzone)
Tabatha (the Paradelle)

Here is the coding if you want to include a button with a link to this week's round-up on your post.


edited to add that I may just get real sick and never actually finish formating this and that I bet no one notices or cares. Am I wrong about this?


need ideas

Okay wise and knowledgable readers. I need freezer dinner ideas that work for this:

No chocolate, nuts and shellfish . . . and please go easy on the
dairy, soy, wheat.

And of course the minute I read that, all I can think of is crab-stuffed flour burritos in cheese sauce with breadcrumbs and nut topping. With Chocolate Soy milk pudding for dessert.




works for me: iTouch task organizer: Omnifocus

I can't even begin to tell you how much I like my iTouch task organizer, Omnifocus. I enter my tasks, and tag them according to Which Project they are part of (home life, school GOP, help others, kid stuff, etc.); Where they get done (yard, computer, town, campus, etc.); When they are due and any other notes.

Then, I can pull up all the things I need to do soon.


all the things I need to do at here, there, or anywhere.


all the things I need to do for Project XYZ.

The location part is particularly nifty, as I can set the locations of different errands with GPS and then Omnifocus will list all the things I need to do while I am in that part of town. No more getting home and remembering that I forgot to drop off the library books or pick up the Rx.

Boy-oh-boy does this work for me.


My other Works for Me posts.



Please pray for the Vekveds, for the grandparents who our neighbors and for the parents with whom we used to be in a Bible Study. My heart is breaking for them: 7-year-old girl dies after accident on Hannegan Road.


if only I could sew

I am mostly a very capable and confident woman. But sewing brings me to tears. I quiver just thinking about it.

One nice thing about arthritis -- and it is the only nice thing -- is that it completely lets me off the hook about conquering this fear. It's official. I don't sew. I won't sew.

But if I could, I'd sew these.



iFlipr and Prima Latina Flashcards

If you are using the Prima Latina curriculum for your kids' home-schooling, and if you have an iTouch or an iPhone, you can get the iFlipricon application for about $5 and use our Prima Latina flashcards. No more paper cards to make and carry around.


Of course you an use this flashcard application for iPhone or iTouch for anything you want to learn, as you get to enter the data yourself, or use someone else's cards. If you want to use our flashcards, here is the link to Prima Latina flashcards Chapters 1-3 with more chapters to follow.

Anytime we have downtime and I have my iTouch, (which is ALWAYS because I LOVE IT and it is SHINY and NIFTY and I LOVE IT -- oh, sorry), anyway, when I am not flipping out, we can do our Latin flashcards.



timid and mild

Okay, help me understand our daughter.

On the one hand, she appears to have very little self-confidence in that if she doesn't know how to do something, she will just freeze until someone bigger than she comes and tells her. Her 'try' muscles are virtually non-existent. (This is particularly hard for me as I don't understand and generally dislike a 'quitting' attitude.) She displays -- in most areas -- a desire to be led, to follow someone else and to please them.

Yet, on the other hand, she has no qualms about contradicting someone in authority. If she thinks blah-blah and I think bluh-bluh, she doesn't -- even for a second -- consider that she may be wrong. She just flat-out boldly contradicts me.

Her cheekiness is appalling, and this in spite of fact that it is on our "hit list". With Dandy we are working on integrity issues; with her it is respect issues.

Anyway, it seems odd to me, that she is so meek about things that she really is capable of, and so impertinent about things that she really ought to be silent on.

Any clues?



top 16 iTouch applications


Well, someone had to do it: try a bunch of iTouch apps and let you know about them. Here are the results of my in-depth and obsessive-compulsive dedicated research:


icon Pandora Radio: I can't describe it any better than this:
You pick a song, album or artist and Pandora immediately builds a whole "radio station" around it, endlessly streaming complete tunes from top artists. You can even tweak your station by giving songs a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. ~ Time
It is also available for your home computer. Who needs Sirius?

iconKoi Pond:icon just what it says, with the option to shake the iTouch and feed your Koi.

iconicon iChalkyicon: a silly stick man that rattles around your screen


iconicon Shakespeare: all of the plays and quite a few sonnets and poems, for your reading pleasure. Because you never know when you might need a fix.

icon Stanza: And if the bard didn't do it for you, here you can read, oh, 100,000 other titles, for free. Who needs a Kindle?


icon Omnifocus: this is the organizer of my dreams. I enter my to do list by both project and location. For example, drop off files at college in north end of town. Omnifocus will sort my tasks by location, or project, or due date. Super easy to use and learn and I am really happy with it. Not free.

iconicon ShapeWriter Pro: type without lifting your finger. The program interprets your tracings into words and is remarkably accurate and easy to use. Free trial and/or 9.99 purchase. Huge WOW factor.

iconShoppericon: easy-to use grocery list with categories and a 'note' feature to remind yourself to use that coupon you've been carrying around or to record prices.

iconMemory Stick: lets you use your iTouch as a wireless spare hard drive.



iconGoogleEarthicon: you need this on your home computer too. If you ignore the rest of this list, fine, but you need to go get GoogleEarth.


iconSimple GPS: attaches the current location of your iTouch to whatever app you are using: GoogleEarth, Twitter, whatever you wish.

icon If Found, please: displays your contact info and a plea for the return of your iTouch should someone find it.

icon myLite: turns your iTouch into a SOS flashlight, or just a regular flashlight.

iconWiFinder: finds WiFi and hooks you up.

iconTweetie: basically Twitter for the iTouch. Tweet and be tweeted.

iconFacebook: add Facebook on your iTouch.

These are all available through your iTunes App Store.

So, I ask you, what did I miss?

Was this post useful? If so, please Digg It!