XYZ or All Good Things Must Come To An End (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

Today is day 24 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  The challenge began with A on April 1 and continues the alphabet throughout thethe little grey mouse month, except on Sundays. My theme for the month will be this blog’s tagline: life, books, and all things bookish, so you can expect a little bit of this ‘n that. I’m still reading, though, and I’ll add reviews whenever possible. Thirty days of blogging is a huge commitment for me, but I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting new blog friends.
Today’s word are letters: X, Y, Z

All good things must come to an end. There’s that slurpy ice cream at the bottom of a cone and the last dip of a chip at a party. There’s the credits rolling at the end of movie, the last gift opened at Christmas, one final bunch of lilacs until next May, the walk across the stage at high school graduation, and one last trip to the beach in August. There’s closing a book read straight through the day (and night).  Sooner rather than later, there will be one last day of school, one last hug.

I’ve met some new-to-me bloggers and read so many great posts I had a hard time keeping up. I’m grateful to the A-Z Blogging Challenge team for the time and energy they gave to keep the project running smoothly.

But all good things must come to an end–even the alphabet X Y Z.

So this is my X marks the spot. My thanks for the memories.

W: Walk on the Wild(er) Side (A-Z Blogging Challenge

Today is day 23 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  The challenge began with A on April 1 and continues the alphabet throughout thew month, except on Sundays. My theme for the month will be this blog’s tagline: life, books, and all things bookish, so you can expect a little bit of this ‘n that. I’m still reading, though, and I’ll add reviews whenever possible. Thirty days of blogging is a huge commitment for me, but I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting new blog friends.
Today’s word: Wilder, Laura Ingalls

Last summer I wrote about my trip to Little House in the Big Woods (Part 1 & Part 2) in Pepin, Wisconsin. This summer I’ve got my heart set on Little House on the Prairie in De Smet, South Dakota. It will be a long haul and the hubs doesn’t seem to think he can take time off from work to go with, so I’ll be solo again. But I’ve got a new car, Google maps, and a whole lotta time, so I say why not?

A few weeks ago, I added to my Laura Ingalls Wilder collection with The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson; the author gave a book talk about his latest work at our local independent bookstore, Schuler Books. Anderson has had a lifelong love for all William Andersonthings Wilder. In college he worked at the Ingalls home in De Smet as an intern: a tour guide, researcher, and fixer-upper. That connection with the Wilder name continued even after he began his teaching career in Michigan. Anderson has written four children’s books about the famous author and a travel book (which I used, incidentally, on my trip to Pepin).

Selected Letters is a more scholarly work, and will make a great companion to Pioneer Girl, Wilder’s annotated bibliography. When I was in Pepin, I read the Big Woods chapter before I visited the museum and home site. I’ll do the same with that book for De Smet, but add Anderson’s Selected Letters to my TBR pile.

William Anderson’s talk was personal and informative. He is sincere and genuine with a great commitment to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s legacy, and he spoke warmly about Wilder almost as if she were a favorite elderly aunt. He chatted with attendees afterwards, signed books with a smile–and could have been a Famous Author character written right into one of the Little House books had the time and place been different.

V is for verse (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

Today is day 22 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  The challenge began with A on April 1 and continues the alphabet throughout theverse month, except on Sundays. My theme for the month will be this blog’s tagline: life, books, and all things bookish, so you can expect a little bit of this ‘n that. I’m still reading, though, and I’ll add reviews whenever possible. Thirty days of blogging is a huge commitment for me, but I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting new blog friends.

Today’s word: verse

No way could I do an April blogging challenge and not mention poetry. I mean, April being National Poetry Month and me being an English teacher and all. I’ve read some of the other participants shout outs to poetry and they ranged from sharing one’s own poem to listing favorite poets.

poetry
Teresa Grau Ros@Flickr

Several years ago my husband and I stumbled on an announcement buried in the newspaper: poet laureate Billy Collins and poet Naomi Shahab Nye were reading at the local university, and the evening was free and open to the public. We felt like we had stumbled upon a little slice of heaven. Collins was personable and warm, his poetry so accessible. Shahab Nye was as well. There was something about listening to their reading live that resonated. Shortly after that evening, I started following the Poetry Out Loud YouTube channel. This national competition for high school students focuses on the recitation of poetry in a powerful and meaningful way. The kids are incredible. Here’s one of my favorites, Bilingual/Bilingue. 

As often happens when one falls down the internet rabbit hole, I somehow landed on a spoken word channel. And fell in love. Now I’ll be honest–some spoken word is just a bit too edgy and profane for me. I don’t like to be yelled at and I don’t like every other word to be a f&@k or worse. But if you look long enough and hard enough, you’ll find some gems like Taylor Mali and Phillip Kaye and Sarah Kay. Sarah of the beautiful rise and fall of images and emotion. (Here she is at her best in “If I Should Have a Daughter“)

I love words. I like the way they sound … and how they feel on my tongue: echoing vowels and satisfying fricatives. I love the way words play, meanings slipping one to the next, then up and over. I love the hope of words and the way they make my heart soar.

Q is for quarts (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

Today is day 17 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  The challenge began with A on April 1 and continues the alphabet throughout the
month, except on Sundays. My theme for the month will be this blog’s tagline: life, books, and all things bookish, so you can expect a little bit of this ‘n that. I’m still reading, though, and I’ll add reviews whenever possible. Thirty days of blogging is a huge commitment for me, but I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting new blog friends.
Today’s words: quarts

Quarts
Canned goods at the Rise ‘n Roll, Shipshewana, Indianna

Back in the day (as the old folks say!) I canned for my family. Just a few things, but just what we wanted and needed. I canned peaches and pears, tomatoes, and pickles. I loved looking at the beautiful Ball jars lined up on my counter, just waiting to hear the pop pop pop of the lids as they sealed. Truth be told, I sometimes left the jars to sit far too long in the kitchen–just because I loved the colors, the glass, the shiny lids. Sooner or later, I’d carry them down to the basement to store til winter. And let me tell you, there’s nothing like the taste of home-canned peaches in February. By the time baby #3 came along I gave it up. I guess I’m not enough of a Pioneer Woman to put up with an August kitchen, prune-y fingers, scalding jars, and sink full of peels–as well as a puppy, part-time job, and, oh, yeah, those three kids. That first winter when I served the boys canned peaches from the store, they asked if I had any “real” peaches. Sometimes I think maybe someday again … but until then, I look longingly at the canned goods at farmer’s markets and sigh.

O is for Outside (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

Today is day 15 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  The challenge began with A on April 1 and continues the alphabet throughout theOutside
month, except on Sundays. My theme for the month will be this blog’s tagline: life, books, and all things bookish, so you can expect a little bit of this ‘n that. I’m still reading, though, and I’ll add reviews whenever possible. Thirty days of blogging is a huge commitment for me, but I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting new blog friends.
Today’s word: outside

Ten days ago I went to a baseball game in the snow. We drove home in sleet and saw at least a dozen cars involved in accidents.

Today … not so much. Saturday’s high temperature was 79. Sunday and Monday the forecast is the same. (And man oh man will my junior studenIMG_2943ts be playing hooky!)

When it’s that warm in April, we Michiganders get positively giddy. After nearly five months of temperatures below forty, shoveling, boots, s lush, and road salt, we don our flip flops, put out the deck furniture, and grill. We rake the flower beds and lawn. Hang clothes on the line. And a few brave souls even put out a pot of annuals. (We know it’s too early, we know we’ll have another frost, but still.)

So we’re outside–by my estimation nearly all of the 193,792 residents of My Town are out walkingRaking their dogs, pushing strollers, tossing a baseball, or riding their bikes after they’re finished with that yard work. We went to buy groceries and threw a Spiderman watering can in the cart for little Jo to play with and hubby bought a new trellis for our re-located clematis.

We sat on the deck and watched the birds at the feeder. The finches are gold again and the Red-winged blackbirds are trilling and chattering. The orioles and hummingbirds are due back in a couple weeks, and I’ve got nectar ready for the hummers and grape jelly for the orioles.

If you stop by and knock on the door or ring the bell and we don’t answer, just come around to the back. We’re on the deck or working in the yard. The ball game is probably on the radio. But you can be darn sure we’re outside.