Saturday, August 14, 2010

Steve is in second heaven as the football preseason has begun. He's watching the Kansas City-Atlanta game that he taped. There may be late night football but neither or us are night owls so we watch a lot of our favorite shows, including football games, the next weekend. My knee is going nuts from too much standing on it so I'm "kinda" watching football as I blog. I always watch a Texans' game closely, but I listen more than watch the others games. Will have to learn the Miami Dolphins' players this year. :-) No longer a Vikings fan as I thoroughly dislike Brett Favre as he would not get involved in community or philathopic activities when he was in Green Bay. The other players give back to the communities in which they play. Maybe he'll finally retire for real, but I doubt it.

Speaking of football, I just got a box of Holiday House books and the first one I reah for is Gunner, Football Hero by James E. Ransome Sadly the reason I grabbed it immediately because my initial glimpse at the cover art, I thought it looked like Pinocchico in a football helmit. Closer examination shows that what looks like a long narrow nose is actually part of the face protector on the helmet as the picture is a profile of Gunner about to make a pass. "Mistaken identity" aside, this is a very cool book as Gunner is the round, short son of parents who are not into sports, but they are into their son and support him as he becomes the 3rd string quarterback on the Tigers PeeWee team. It's the PeeWee County Championship - the Mighty Bowl - and the first and second string quarterbacks are injured and in goes Gunner. No one is shouting their support but his parents - that is until he throws two touchdown passes. The final pass is knocked down and the Tigers lost the game but Gunner is still a hero, delightfully holding his rookie of the year trophy. Ransome adds frosting to this delightful underdog tale by concluding with an excerpt from the newspaper article noting that the player who intercepted Gunner's pass with a girl who finally got a chance to play. :-) There aren't a lot of picture books about football so this one is a gotta have for primary level libraries.

I am sorting through older books again and came across a copy of David Macaulay's Motel of the Mysteries. Hard to believe it was published in 1979. I had forgotten the setting as November 29, 1985 when an unexpected reduction in the postal rates causes an inundation of junk mail that pulled the impurities down from the air and buried North America - "In less than a day, the most advanced civilization in the ancient world had perished." Fast forward to 4022 and the discovery of a motel room. The interpretations of what the TV was is cute but the toilet being the sacred urn is hilarious as is the line drawing of the explorer with the "sacred collar around his neck" - the toilet seat, held on by the sacred headband (the paper sanitized strip found on motel toilets) - as he "worships the sacred urn". He does look a lot like he is "worshiping the porcelain goddess" - maybe he drank some of the alcohol left in the sacred chamber! The treasures are even more delightful - the sacred pendant is the bathtub stopper! Give this to the tweens and teens who are enjoying the popular futuristic/dystopian series such as Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games series and Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It series Or, to the ones who love graphic novels as Macaulay's illustrations are incredibly detailed. Sometimes we forget about the wonderful books that were published decades ago.

Speaking of old stuff - I am always delighted to see picture books that are based on the classic nursery songs. Jane Caberera adds another title to her set of tune based picture books with Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush It is either late autumn or early winter (no snow) and two puppies' day begins with "This is the way we all wake up. All wake up, all wake up. This is the way we all wake up, on a cold and frosty morning." Their activities can all be sung to the well known tune. If the sparkling text of Mulberry Bush on the cover does not catch preschoolers' attention, just start singing/reading the book and they will be hooked. A great title for a toddler/preschool storytime at a public library or in a Kindergarten classroom. Share it with the music teacher too.

Now I am treating myself to a Low Carb ice cream bar. I have no idea why but I appear to be no longer lactose intolerant. I am enjoying all the things I missed out on for years, especially ice cream and yogurt. I am pretty pleased with myself as I've lost 12 pounds so far on this limited carb diet. I am not starving and not even missing bagels or fatty foods. I've been tracking my calories and carbs on What a great site for anyone trying to lose weight in healthy manner. You can even check on calorie count and add foods via your cell phone. I am hoping to lose as much as I can before the next knee surgery as I know I will be pretty much immoble for awhile after the surgery and the pain pills give me the munchies and I crave chocolate!