Friday, October 31, 2008

Book Review: The Invisible Wall

This week while I was at the Leadership Institute I read a good book called The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein. I got the book several months ago from the publisher I think. I was in the middle of reading lots of others things and didn't think I'd want to read this since it's a memoir. So I passed it on to my book club. It turns out that there were several copies of the book floating around book club and I kept hearing how great the book was. So I managed to get my copy back. At Leadership Institute there was no Internet, no TV and no cell phone, so I was able to read the whole book in just a couple of days. We only had a few hours of free time in the evening, but the only thing to do was read - and I knit half a dishcloth.
Harry spent his early years in a small English mill town. On his street, Jews lived on one side and Christians on the other side. The book tells about his growing up years and the interaction of the neighbors with the invisible wall running down the middle of the street. It was very well written, and the story moved along quickly. It ends with the family moving to America. There is a second book that I'm dying to read. Harry was 96 when this book was published.
It's a fascinating book and I do recommend it. If you not a big non-fiction reader, it reads like fiction.
The big outcome of the Leadership Institute is that I created my personal statement of leadership purpose. And I'll share it with you since it took a lot of hard work to create. I even have it memorized.
With patience, communication and teamwork I will create an environment that is fair, fulfilling and offers on-going training so that library staff can have and provide positive customer experiences.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dylan Getting All Grown Up

Here is another layout of Dylan - can you believe how grown up he's getting. When we were home in September we drove down to the Land Between the Lakes area. We stopped at a pull out right before crossing the Kentucky Dam. There were lots of sailboats out on the Kentucky River that day. Tim took this picture of Dylan just sitting there. I used Night of Navy as the page base and some sage shadow for the photo mat and the pattern papers and coordinating tags come from Creative Memories. We had a nice day together

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another Bike Layout

Several weeks ago Tim and I went bike riding. It had been awhile since I had ridden, so we went to the Greenway in Charlotte where they have nice paved paths. We had a nice ride. And we took a couple of silly pictures of ourselves to prove it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pretty Easter Dresses

This is my lovely youngest niece, Sydney at Easter this year. The girls Grandma Carlson bought then beautiful Easter dresses. And the girls wore them even though there was about 6 feet of snow on the ground. The girls wrote a note to the Easter Bunny and he left them a note in return. I'm going to color copy the notes and slip them behind the photo and pattern paper on the right side. I think I used one of Sally's sketches for the left side of the layout. The background is light purple and the pattern papers are black and white. You can't see from the photos (click on the photo to make it bigger and you can see all the details) , but there are some rhinestones on the pages for a little bling.

Even though Miss Sydney looks beautiful and sweet in her Easter dress, she is a little rough and tumble tomboy. She loves to play on the monkey bars. Last week she took a big tumble and broke the two bones in her left wrist. She got a full arm cast. Yesterday when they went back for a checkup, they discovered she also broke her right arm. Sydney is going back to the hospital today to have another cast put on. So everyone, please think good thoughts for Miss Sydney today.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Help Me, I Need a Name

I'd like to introduce you all to Not Fred. He got his poor name because we would see him out in the yard and think it was Fred - but it was "not Fred". Tim has started feeding him and petting him. So we've decided he probably needs a real name. No Mom, he won't be coming in the house if I have anything to say about it. We'd like to hear suggestions for a real name for this guy - yes, he is a boy. So, everyone, let's hear your suggestions - and ask your kids, I want to hear their ideas too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Lovely Fall Sunday

Sunday was a beautiful day with lots of sun and cool temps - it's finally fall in NC. I had a nice walk with my friend Patricia while Tim was off riding his bike and then he mowed the yard and I planted a bunch of daffodil bulbs that my boss graciously gave me. For dinner Tim grilled some pork tenderloin with our house seasoning - garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper. I looked through my recipe collection for a side dish and found this recipe for Broccoli Stuffing - I'd call it more of a broccoli casserole. But it's definitely a make again dish for us.

Broccoli Stuffing
2 (16 oz.) packages frozen chopped broccoli
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 onion, minced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
10 oz. dried stuffing mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350. Cook broccoli according to package directions. Lightly grease a large baking dish.
In a bowl, mix the cheese, eggs, onion, soup and mayonnaise.
Arrange the cooked broccoli in the prepared pan. Pour cheese sauce over the broccoli. Spread the stuffing mix over the sauce. Drizzle butter over all.
Bake 30 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.
12 servings

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dylan's Favorite Things

This spring when I was visiting my nieces in Michigan I asked them what were their five favorite things. Sarah wrote hers down for me and Sydney dictated her list to me. I've shared the scrapbook pages I did for them. I wanted to do the same project with Dylan, but I changed it up a bit and asked him to take his own pictures of his five favorite things and email them to me. He was able to send me pictures of four things, his fifth favorite thing was his cat Kalypso who ran away while he was taking his pictures. It's taken me several months to make this page for him, but here it is. Oh - and his five favorite things are: Kaylpso, his music, his computer, his game consoles and Mr. Leohr who is his computer teacher - who is just the best teacher evre Dylan says.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Simply Racing

This is a simple page I did of Tim's Off Road Assault on Mount Mitchell. I used the course map and elevation chart as backgroud paper. Some one at the race got this nice picture of Tim in action. And with a quick roll of the tire tread stamp my page was done.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Aspen Gold Readers Choice Award

One of the great perks of my job is that I have gotten involved in judging several romance writing awards. For the second year I have been a judge for the Aspen Gold Readers Choice Awards for published novels. This annual award is sponsored by the Heart of Denver Romance Writers Association. I was sent signed copies of the three finalists in the Historical Fiction category to read and score. Under their scoring system a 1-2 is Below Average, 3-4 is Fair, 5-6 is Good, 7-8 is Great and 9-10 is Outstanding. The books I had to read were: Untouched by Anna Campbell (2), Lady Be Bad by Candice Hern (7), and His Favorite Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren (9). I liked the Tracy Anne Warren book so much that I'm going to read the other two in her series.