Friday, March 31, 2006


Last night I went delivering. I back in high school and undergrad I used to go delivering when I was bored or sometimes just because I was really happy, but most often it was because I was in a bad mood and needed to cheer myself up. The basic idea is to pick up small fun gifts and drop them off to whoever came to mind. So if it was a Saturday morning I would pick up bagels or my favorite doughnuts or if it was a hot summer day I would pick up popcicles and deliver them to friends.

Last night these are what I delivered

They don't look like much now because I just planted them last night, but they are lily of the valley plants. My friends Kamiko and Jill both love lily of the valley so when I saw lily of the valley starts at the store the other day I had to buy them and last night while Larry was working was the perfect opportunity to deliver them. Here's a picture of Kamiko with hers.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Another reason that I love Larry

Larry makes me lunch almost everyday because he knows that I would rather have ten more minutes of sleep and go hungry. It's so kind of him.

I know I'm a pretty lucky girl.

This month Larry is doing a cardiology rotation and his schedule has been pretty rough on both of us. I'm looking forward to the end of this month. I'm looking forward to getting back to a regular routine. I'm looking forward to Larry having a week off. I'm looking forward to having Larry there every night when I go to bed. Tonight is the last night of overnight call this month!

Book Review

Looking for Alaska - by John Green

I rarely quit reading a book in the middle of the story, I always push on thinking I wouldn't want to miss it if the author somehow redeemed the story, but I could not possibly finish Looking for Alaska. I thought that it was completely offensive and inappropriate for me, let alone the young adult audience it's intended for.

Looking for Alaska recently won the Printz Award for young adult literature and it received glowing reviews from just about every critic I can think of. It got so many good reviews that I finally picked it up thinking that maybe this book was different from a lot of the other Printz Award winners with appalling content. I was disappointed to find that the difference was that it was worse. I know that the reality is that there are many high schoolers out there who can't string together a few sentences without using some of the most offensive language on the planet, and there are kids sleeping around and getting completely drunk. Just because they exist, does not mean that I need to know the dirty details of their lives and that is why I had to put this books down.

It really was too bad because Green's writing had so much potential. I found the plot interesting; Miles decides to move from his life as an outcast in Florida to explore the "great unknown" at boarding school in Alabama. He makes new friends and lusts after an intriguing girl and takes part in some interesting pranks. The characters were well-rounded, and I cared enough about them to find some summaries of the rest of the book.

I loved the relationship that Miles had with his parents. They were a total normal, loving family, which seems rare in young adult novels these days. Miles and his parents actually liked each other a communicated well, and trusted each other.

I thought that Green's idea to head each chapter with a heading counting down the days until IT happened and then counting up the days after IT happened was clever and a found myself wanting to read on to find out what IT would be, but the uglier side of the book made me put it down.

Last fall, the owner of Cover to Cover said that she would liked to see a new designation within the young adult genre. The young adult genre includes material aimed at kids from 13 to 18 and Looking for Alaska is a perfect example of a books that your average 13 or 14 year-old is not ready for. There are so many new young adult books that fit into this category and book sellers are calling for a new designation to indicate that they may be too mature for some of the young adult audience. I wholeheartedly agree that this change is necessary.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Wednesday Mumblings

I went to a fun Enrichment meeting at church last night. We had a service auction. Each person there thought of one or two services they could do for someone else and we auctioned them off. We all brought items to donate to a women’s shelter and bid using points from the items we brought or service that we already did this week. I donated two things: a sock dog made with the socks of your choice and a guided letterboxing adventure (because I had a few friends there who want to learn to letterbox). Two of my good friends ended up winning those things so it will be especially fun to do because I would have been happy to do those things for them anyway.

I won dinner at the McFadden’s (which was the item I wanted most because Anna McFadden is a great cook and the whole McFadden family is so nice; for example, Anna and her son Spencer volunteer to deliver meals on wheels and when my friend Heather was really sick during her pregnancy, Anna frequently visited to clean up her throw-up. That it is a real friend!). I love these service auctions because it’s so cool to find out all of these hidden talents my friends have. One friend donated juggling lessons and another said she would edit a school paper because she used to be an editor for the Chicago Sun Times. There was a girl who donated a haircut, another who will draw a portrait, and another who is an interior designer who will help select a paint color and paint a room. The list went on and on. What an amazing group of girls!

After the auction I headed home and Larry and I hung out with my older sister Candice, who spent the night so I could take her to the airport this morning. Candice is headed for Chicago where she will be the photographer for a scrapbooking event called Creating Keepsake University Album (CKU-A). In May she will be teaching at a CKU in Provo and another somewhere in Texas so this will be a good opportunity for her to see how things run and meet some other famous scrapbookers. In the meantime, her husband Mark will be heading for Disney World tomorrow for a second audition with Disney so Larry and I will be down at their home in Athens on Saturday so watch their kids.

Since I didn’t take any pictures last night I’m posting this one from my sister-in-law Keri instead.

That’s our nephew Jack with part of the birthday present that we sent him. He turned one in December and we just sent him his present because we were waiting for the newest pigeon book, Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late, to come out. I made him a matching red t-shirt with the Pigeon on it. He’s such a cute kid! I wish we lived closer so we could actually read the book to him.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I am a graduate!

Last night I had my final beginning-guitar lesson. My teacher, Heather, is moving today so we held the lesson at my house. There were five people in my class and they all came with their spouses to play some of the songs we learned and have some really good cheesecake that Heather made to reward us for practicing.

Guitar lessons were a bit of a struggle for me because I am not used to being the worst in most things, but believe me, i was THE WORST by far! I do not have the same natural musical talent that it seems like everyone else in my family has. I have really improved, but so has everyone else in the class so I am still the worst, but I feel better about it now because I'm so much better then I was.

I borrowed a guitar from a friend so now I'm hoping to get my own so that I can keep practicing. Maybe the birthday fairy will bring me one or maybe my mom will lend me one of hers (Mom, are you reading this? I'm just saying . . .)

I could not wake Larry up when I got home from work so I decided to let him sleep a little while longer, and I went downstairs and I ended up falling asleep on the couch. Oops! I woke up after 7:30 and Larry helped me do some quick cleaning before everyone arrived at 8:00. We had a lot of fun and I will miss my class. I meant to take pictures for the blog, but I forgot.

After class Larry and I headed over to Heather & Rick's to help them pack up their kitchen stuff and move it to their new house. Rick just matched here for his residency, and I'm excited to have some friends who will be sticking around here after graduation. We've made some great friends here and it's always so hard to see them move on so I'm happy this time I won't have to say goodbye. I would like to be more like Rick and Heather because they are the best hosts ever! It seems like everytime I meet someone new at church, they've already had dinner at Rick and Heather's. Not only are they good cooks, they also are really creative and have people over for things like murder mystery dinners and FHE Jeopardy. The best part is that their new house isn't far from ours so even though guitar lessons are ending we'll still be able to hang out.

I hope that the rest of you had a good night too.

The Lightening Thief - by Rick Riordan

I will be using this blog to review some of the books that I read so sorry to those of you who are not interested in Children's literature; you can just skip these posts.

For those of you who are interested, I read The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan this weekend. Browsing through the boostore, this book did not appeal to me at all. I knew it was about a boy who is sent on a hero's quest after he finds out his father is a Greek god. I have never been interested in Greek mythology so I just didn't think that I could get into this kind of fantasy especially after seeing the book cover with Greek monsters all over it.

I finally decided to check this book out after hearing all the pre-Newbery buzz from people who thought it should win. It won two cuffies (The award given by children's booksellers): Our Vote to Win the Newbery- Honorable mentions: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan ("Because something fun, fantastic and fabulous should win. Can we please give death, divorce and other social tensions a year off?") and Favorite Book to Handsell- The Lightning Thief ("because every customer between 9 and 14 can't be wrong") .

I read the first few pages at the library and I was hooked. Riordan draws in readers like me, who are not interested in Greek mythology, by beginning with a realistic modern setting. The main character, Percy, is a 12-year-old boy at a private school for troubled kids. Percy doesn't have a lot of friends, is picked on by bullies, struggles in school with his ADHD, and has an awful step-dad. Readers immediately begin to root for him as an underdog. By the time he starts getting attacked by monsters and Percy's mother sends him to Camp Half Blood (a camp for kids who are half-mortal half-god) the reader is sucked into Percy's adventure without any struggle to accept the fantasy side of the story.

Riordan cleverly adapts the ancient Greek world to a modern American setting which enables the reader to relate more with the book (the underworld is accessed through a recording studio in LA and Mount Olympus floats above the Empire State Building in New York, where it can be accessed by a special elevator. He even explains some modern heros and villians as demigods like Percy, who have special strengths they inherited from their parents). I also really enjoyed his witty chapter titles.

The conclusion was satisfying, but it clearly left the door open for a sequel, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Thurman's Cafe

If you come to visit us and you're really nice, we'll take you to Thurman's Cafe.

Saturday night we went out to dinner with our good friends the Zozzes. Donny Zozz went to medical school with Larry and is also a resident in internal medicine at OSU. They were in the mood for burgers and didn't mind a wait so we knew just where to take them.

Thurman's is a total hole-in-the-wall in German Village. It doesn't look like much from the outside, parking is difficult, and there's always a long wait, but the food is absolutely worth it. Larry says first timers must try the Thurman burger, 3/4 lb. of hambuger stacked with gobbs of hams and mushrooms and pretty much any other topping that you can think of.

It's way too big to really fit in your mouth and there is no way to be pretty while eating it. The Zozzes just stared in disbelief when our order came to the table. Then they laughed and said that they didn't even know how to begin. Larry told them they better start because if it sits too long and the bun gets soggy the game is over.

And yes, Larry ate the whole thing and then had some of my huge chicken and ham sandwich!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Puppy Star

Meet sock dog.

Candice helped me find a pattern for a sock dog last week so I experimented with it this week with some socks that I found on clearance at Target and Sock dog was born. All I needed to do to finish him was sew on his eyes (they are pinned on here) but I thought he needed bigger buttons.

Anyway, Candice and family came up to spend the night and made it to my house before me and sock dog found a new home while I was away.

And he got a new name. Not Winston or Edison like Candice and I suggested, oh no! His new name is Puppy Star! (Grant has stellar naming skills; he named his beta fish Blue Fishy and he named the fish who replaced him Blue Fishy's Cousin). Grant carried it every where with him and it was all we could do to convince him to leave Puppy Star at home while we went to Chucky Cheese (We told him that Puppy Star does not like pizza sauce so he'd be much happier at home).

While we were out we stopped to pick up some new buttons for Puppy Stars eyes. Larry and I showed Grant all sorts of button options for Puppy Star's eyes, but Grant could not be dissuaded from his original choice and he insisted on matching ribbon for Puppy Star's collar (and even though I love stars, I had no influence whatsoever on these decisions).

Oh yes my friends, Puppy Star is pimped out!!!! I think his new name should be Elton John! I told Grant that it was not too late to change his mind, and I'd be happy to change his eyes to white buttons and put the stars on his collar. Grant looked back at me with horror holding Puppy Star away from me while he said, "I like Puppy Star just the way he is!"

Mrs. Darcy

I had some of the girls that I visit and teach over for a night of Pride and Prejudice last night . I made t-shirts right before everyone came over. You can't read them very well, but they say "Mrs. Darcy" on them. Larry made a short appearance to snack with us and help me set up, but he didn't stay for the movie (don't be fooled; he loves the six hour version of Pride and Prejudice, but he was post-call so he would have snored through the movie, plus he probably felt left out because I didn't make him a Mrs. Darcy t-shirt).

Candice Stringham -Scrapbooker extraordinare!

Ok, the news is finally out; My older sister, Candice, just won Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame! I am so incredibly proud of her! (If you follow the link and click on Candice Stringham, you can hear her husband, Mark, finding out on the phone that she won and you can read Candice's account of finding out she won).

Candice is an amazing artist. Her photographs are mesmerizing. For Christmas I had to beg her to print pictures to go in the border in my guest room so I could have my own mini Candice Stringham gallery to admire everyday.

There are so many reasons that I look up to Candice, but first and foremost because she is finding a way to make a career out of something she is passionate about. She has big dreams and she is making them come true. I feel so lucky to be related to such a talented person. I never had a doubt that she would win!

I don't think that I'm allowed to post any of her Hall of Fame layouts yet so instead, here is a layout from April's Creating Keepsakes Magazine. Isn't she gorgeous?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A tour of our home

I emailed this tour to some of you, but I thought that this would be a good place to post it.

Welcome to the Ford home! We begin our tour with the exterior of the home on a slightly stormy day.

Then we proceed to the entryway. Unfortunately the four foot lighthouse that used to be on that landing left with the previous owners.

If you proceed straight ahead you will see the dining area (which is not that exciting, but I had to include it because I love the quote on the wall). To our left is the living room, which as you know is now painted green instead of blue.

To our right is the kitchen and if you look further right you will see a wall with my leaf plate collection.

If you go back to the entryway you will notice a small bathroom to the right of the stairs. This bathroom has an unusual history; it used to be painted like the ocean and had a large model sailboat hanging on the wall and had lace curtains with lighthouses and boats embroidered in them. The previous owners had an eye for detail and even included brass hardware with nautical detailing.

Upstairs the first room on the right is the guest room. Those picture frames were mostly filled this weekend, but unfortunately, this picture was taken at and earlier date.

Further down the hall on your right is the guest bathroom (which also isn’t very exciting, but has really cute star shower curtain hangers).

After the restroom you will see the library. The silver thing that you see on the left is a high desk that the owner uses to create all sorts of crafty messes.

To the right is a display of the owners extensive Mr. Potato head collection, a rare sight indeed!

Across the hallway is the very messy master bedroom, which finally has new bedding, but it is not actually on the bed yet because the owners are very lazy!

That concludes our tour. We hope you enjoyed your time here at the Ford Manor!


Thanks for checking out my new blog. I've had my book club blog for quite awhile, but I wanted to start a personal blog to help me keep in touch with everyone. Please check back to see what Larry and I have been up to.