Wednesday, June 04, 2008

This is where I would like to be - walking on the beach in the evening with Steve. Am more than a bit stressed out right now and a walk on the beach sounds good. Yesterday afternoon the biopsy results on the mole I had removed from my back came in and they are positive. So, I have to go back in to the doc's and have a larger piece of tissue cut out. Not looking forward to it, as the initial mole removal wound (between the size of a dime and nickel) has not healed and I can't sit back on anything that pushes against it. I don't want to think about how sore it is going to be from a larger tissue removal. Right now the removal is scheduled for the 25th - only 2 days before I leave for ALA in Anaheim. Might be a miserable flight over.

The picture above was taken on our last evening on Tobago. I was not keeping up with Steve as I kept stopping to pick up shells and to look at the tiny jellyfish that were being washed in. Their "streamers" were bright blue - too pretty to be something that can leave a nasty sting. I was supposed to go to Orlando with Steve for a week while he attends a Microsoft workshop, but with my summer school work load and being on the "wait list" for any cancelled appointments with the doc I decided a week at home alone with Sophie is probably what I need to catch up a bit. Steve said he was going to take his golf clubs when I said I couldn't go - he won't miss me a bit!

The weather here in Lex is overcast, but at least I am not writing this in the middle of a nasty wind/rain/thunderstorm like yesterday morning. We didn't lose power, but we did lost the Internet connection. Steve's big gas grill was moved right across the back deck as were our rocking chairs. The wind threw the grill cover into the yard as well as the plastic table we had on the deck. So the new plants I bought are more than watered! I found two gorgeous square planters of purple and yellow pansies. ECU colors! :-)

Since the Internet was down for part of the morning yesterday I opened a big box of new books from Scholastic and I was hoping the power would stay out even longer. I was in second heaven to see several of Walter Dean Myer's older YA novels in paperback editions perfect for classroom use as they have additional information in the back of each one. Although it didn't get a lot of attention when it initially came out, one of my favorite Myers' books is The Glory Field. It takes the Lewis family from Sierra Leone in the 18th century to present day Harlem. The title refers to the family's land in South Carolina. Myers has a way of weaving factual historical events and information into his novels that are rich in family traditions, but do not shy away from subjects as intense as drug addiction. I will admit I am not any more intrigued by the cover on the new paperback edition as I was the stark black cover of the first edition hardback when it was published in 1996. But, I hope teens continue to read about the Lewis family who began their lives in America as slaves but found their own place in both South Carolina and Harlem.

I also am delighted to see the new pbk edition of Myers' Fallen Angels I love the cover art for this book - very realistic. This particular Myers upper level YA novel is used so often in schools that there are even SparkNotes available for it. It was required reading in my YA literature for many years. I am sure teens will be looking for it after reading Myers' newest war novel Sunrise over Fallujah. I had the pleasure of listening to Myers talk about the research he did for this book, including the visit he had from the government because he was asking too many questions about the war in Iraq. Myers have family members who are "lifers" in the military so his view of this war is both heartfelt and well researched. My copy is sitting next to the bed and I have yet to start reading it. I read Fallen Angels when it came out years ago and I sobbed over this book, especially when an infant was used as a bomb. I will read Myers' newest book about yet another war we shouldn't have gotten ourselves into, but it will to have to wait for just a little bit more before I am ready for it. I cannot think of a YA author I have more respect for than Walter Dean Myers. He is a brilliant writer as well as one of the most genuinely kind men, but with a wicked sense of humor that "pops out" when you least expect it. I have been known to let out a very unlady like snort laugh at his presentations at conferences. For those of you who want to know more about this wonderful YA author - visit his web site:

On a much more fun note - I read Wuv Bunnies from Outers Pace by David Elliott and illustrated by Ethan Long. The cover states it is a graphic novel, but from my perspective it is a hilarious chapter book for kids with as much illustration as text. To me, graphic novel means the narrative text is limited, or in some cases, non-existent, and the dialog is in conversation balloons in "cells" of illustrations that work their way across the page and down. This book is a cross between a picture book and an early chapter book for lower elementary, but older readers will enjoy it too as it supremely ridiculous, thus making it fun for most readers, no matter their age. Two alien bunnies come from Outers Pace to warn Hercules Smith and his barking beagle Sheldon that the Funny Bunnies (not ha-ha funny, but weird funny) are coming to invade earth and turn humans into carrots. The Wuv Bunnies crack jokes continuously - real groaners, but you can't help laughing. All I can say is that I love this book and will have to purchase a copy for my grandsons as they aren't getting mine. When Steve is one of his groaner joke moods, I am going to pull out my copy of this book and give him a shot of the Wuv Bunnies jokes such as "What do crooks eat with their milk? Crookies!! GROAN!!!

That's it for today - been up since 6:00 and I am frantically trying to keep up with work and doctor's appointments, etc. I admit it may be a losing battle, but I am not giving up my time to Blog.