Thursday, December 31, 2009

Booklist, 2009

Booklist 2009

Here is my incomplete booklist for 2009.  I have a short list (maybe 5 books) on my desk at home waiting to be added to this list.  But I am not at home, so I am publishing this now, since it's the last day of the year.  I will add the other books later.  They include some children's books, like Splat Cat.

This list is in reverse chronological order, with the most recently read books at the top.

Booklist, 2009

(This is incomplete):

  1. Comfort Food, Kate Jacobs
  2. Island in the Sea of Time. Stirling
  3. We Were the Mulvaneys, by Joyce Carol Oates, 12-2-09 (+)
  4. The Business of Writing for Children, by Aaron Shepherd, 11-29-09 (+)
  5. The Mystery of The Cupboard, by Lynne Reid Banks, 11-28-09 (+)
  6. The Search for the Dragon Ship, by Tony Abbott, 11-25-09
  7. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, by Alexander McCall Smith, 11-22-09
  8. Let me call you Sweetheart, Mary Higgins Clark, 11-4-09
  9. The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg, 11-3-09
  10. The DaVinci Code, Dan Brown, 11-3-09
  11. The School at Heart's Content Road, Carolyn Chute, 11-1-09
  12. The Cassandra Compact,Robert Ludlum, 10-15-09
  13. Free Food for Millionaires, by Min Jin Lee, 4+, 10-13-09
  14. The Wheel of Darkness, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, 10-1-09
  15. Tyrannosaur Canyon, Douglas Preston, 9-24-09
  16. Secret Water, Arthur Ransome, 9-19-09
  17. Blasphemy, Douglas Preston, 9-16-09
  18. Brimstone, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child,9-9-09
  19. Still LIfe with Crows, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, 8-27-09
  20. The Four Story Mistake, Elizabeth Enright, 8-25-09
  21. Beowulf, translated by Benedict Flynn, 8-22-09
  22. The Boy Who Killed Caterpillars, Joshua Kornreich, 8-21-09
  23. The Saturdays, Elizabeth Enright, 8-20-09
  24. The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James, 8-19-09
  25. Acorna's Quest, by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball, 8-18-09
  26. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradly, August 16, 2009
  27. Jane Eyre, by Emily Bronte, August 7, 2009
  28. A Little Book on the Human Shadow, by Robert Bly, July 27, 2009
  29. The Painted Drum, by Louise Erdrich, July 26, 2009
  30. Acorna, by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball, July 20, 2009
  31. The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbs, by Bill Watterson, July 13, 2009
  32. The Actress, by Elizabeth Sims, July 11, 2009
  33. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
  34. Marley: A Dog Like No Other, John Grogan
  35. Goodnight, Gorilla, Peggy Rathmann
  36. Bad Dog, Marley, John Grogan
  37. The Highest Tide, Jim Lynch
  38. Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
  39. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
  40. Dream When You're Feeling Blue, Elizabeth Berg
  41. We didn't mean to go to Sea, by Arthur Ransome
  42. Tara Road, Maeve Binchy
  43. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  44. The Worst Witch at School, Jill Murphy
  45. Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan
  46. The Nick Adams Stories, Ernest Hemingway
  47. The River King, Alice Hoffman
  48. The Probable Future, Alice Hoffman
  49. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  50. Lucifer, A Hagiography, Phillip Memmer
  51. It's a Magical World, Bill Watterson
  52. Pigeon Post, Arthur Ransome
  53. I Claudius, Robert Graves
  54. Peter Duck, Arthur Ransome
  55. The Kite Runner. Khaled Hosseini

Books I am currently reading:
  1. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
  2. Summer on Blossom Street
  3. The Blue Roan Child
  4. and a whole BUNCH of others!!!!  It would take too much space to list them all, seriously!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Marker Quick Sketches and Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I got two sets of markers for Christmas and was just testing them this morning.

Hope you're having a great Day!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A temporary Book, Phew

I had written a book for Rachel, but it was taking too long to finish
it, so I "published" a two-copy run in time for Christmas--Phew.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Turkey Cauliflower Brussels Sprouts soup

Turkey Cauliflower Brussels Sprouts soup with mushrooms, 5 spice powder and a hint of curry

per portion:

1 cup turkey broth left from Thanksgiving (or substitute chicken broth
1/4 c cauliflower, cut ito small florets--be sure to eat some raw while working)
2 Brussels sprouts, sliced thin
1/8 c chopped fresh mushrooms
a small handful of fresh baby spinach
1 T rolled oats, barley, pastina or spaghetti broken in small pieces, or cooked wild rice, or raw minute rice
3 oz turkey chunks or sliced sandwich turkey cut in pieces
dash salt
dash black pepper dash cayenne (opt)
dash curry powder
dash 5 spice powder (or cinnamon, cloves, ginger etc)
1 t balsamic vinegar or 2 t white wine
dash garlic powder (or better yet, mince garlic, onions onions or shallots and saute quickly in a t of olive oil)

saute garlic etc, if using fresh (best that way), pour in one cup broth per person, turn burner to high, then lower to low as soon as it begins to simmer.  Add ingredients in the order given.  This soup is ready in about 5 minutes.  And very good.

To thicken broth. add a rounded teaspoon of flour per cup of broth to the wine or balsamic, and stir in the paste near the end.


On the Floor

My son, Piano Boy is sleep on the floor of his room for the second day in a row.

He got a new love seat for Christmas and tried to sleep on that, and then, because it was too short, he moved, not to his bed, but to the floor, which was closer, I guess. ice.

We got snow!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sunrise this morning over Lake St. Clair (Close, but no Epiphany)

Close, but no Epiphany

I saw the sunrise twice this morning. Sort of. The sun didn't rise
twice, but I drove down to Lake St. Clair twice in a row, a somewhat
unusual event, thank goodness. Unfortunately, I never actually saw
the sun rise. I saw the glorious pink and gold and salmon clouds of
just before sunrise and the honey yellow gold clouds of just after
sunrise. Spectacular. I took some photos, but I cannot post them
until I re-invite myself to join my own blog. And furthermore, though
I have zillion things to do—I can't start my day until after 2:00. Or
sometime after 11, anyway.

Let me explain:

It started when the alarm went of at 6:25 Am as it does every
Thursday. Mrs. L arrives at 6:45 for Piano Boy's piano lesson. But
PB had been busy and bad all week—and maybe depressed—he has choir
shows and rehearsals and doesn't want to practice. He has plenty of
energy after choir to get online—in my computer—and play video games,
but no energy to practice. I turned on all the lights for her.

Mrs. L was very disappointed in him and is threatening to take him out
of Piano Festival because he hasn't learned his Festival pieces. When
he tried to use choir as an excuse, she reminded him that many other
students, including Jay, are in choir and are learning their pieces.
After the lesson was over, she tried to give him a pep talk ("If you
practice well over vacation, you can catch up," etc), but he was all
hangdog and unresponsive. (Acting depressed and uncaring.)

By now it was almost 7:30 and PB asked me to drive him to school. He
said he didn't have time to get there on his own. (He's supposed to
get himself to school.) I drove him and detoured around past the
lake—Lake St. Clair, and the sky was brilliant and gorgeous, the
clouds and lake lit up with predawn flame (Hmmmm, red in the morning .
. . ).

When I got home, I could hear the phone ringing before I even unlocked
the door. It was PB—"can you bring me my choir costume?" Me: "Why
didn't you bring it?" PB—"I didn't know I needed it." (DUH! He's
going to be singing at the DSO tonight! The Detroit Symphony
Orchestra.) So okay, unhappily, I run up and get OUR garment bag
(which he has appropriated and put his name in), which hangs unzipped
in his closet. I rush it downstairs and grab his character shoes and
drive back to the school a SECOND time—a huge bus is waiting and
Graham dashes over for his unzipped garment bag and mumbles and sort
of resentful-sounding "thank you" as if it is somehow my fault he
forgot his stuff. He doesn't want the shoes.

I drive by Lake St. Clair again—and the sun is just barely above the
horizon, spilling golden light over the clouds and water and ice—I
forgot the mention—Lake St. Clair is mostly frozen, at least in the
bays along the shore. Pretty. I hadn't taken a picture of the
earlier dramatically colored clouds, but I decide I could take a
picture now, and I drive to Pier Park. I walk every day and had been
intending to walk 15 minutes when I got home. Why not walk at Pier
Park—so I did—25 minutes, in fact.

When I got home, I started cleaning PB's pigsty—I mean his
room—because the delivery men are coming with the loveseat we bought
him for Christmas—very expensive. (And on the way to get it, PB
said some foul words to BB! As if he could have anything he wanted no
matter how disrespectful and mean he was. Of course, BB was being
kind of mean, too. I think he only meant to be joking, but it was
still mean.)While I am cleaning the room, I find part of PB's costume
on the floor in his closet behind a bin of stuff—I didn't see it there
when I grabbed the bag—too late—if he thinks I'm driving it down to
the DSO, he's wrong! (And SOL!!!)

I cleaned and vacuumed PB's room, and then carried the boxes and piles
of books into our bedroom and the bathroom and vacuumed the upstairs
all, the hallway, and the entryway. Phew—I got all hot and

THEN I ate breakfast, fed the birds outside, cleaned Rocky's cage, etc.

I have NOT done my exercises, showered, or put on clean clothes yet,
and cannot do it until AFTER the deliverymen leave. Because I can't
be in the shower when they arrive, or doing my exercises, since I need
to undress. And, therefore, I cannot "begin my day" until I have
showered, dressed, combed my hair etc. It's 11:19 and they are
supposed to come between 11:00 and 2:00, so I have to wait until they
arrive to shower dress etc. (I'm wearing yesterday's clothes, and to
tell you the truth, a very rare occurrence for me, they are the
clothes from two days ago because yesterday I had another morning
crisis. So I put on the clothes from the day before and was so busy
all day I never had time to change. ICK! I know!

I can't finish printing the Christmas cards because I need to go to
Staples for more ink and I can't go until after the delivery.
Complain complain complain complain. I'm kind of annoyed by how the
day has been going so far, but it did have one GOOD thing—I lost 5
pounds form the day before. YAY! (Well, really only just over 4
pounds). But it's the LEAST I've weighed since November 12 (before
thanksgiving!) So that's good!

I also had a late but yummy breakfast of omelette and bran. It
probably tasted even better than usual because I was quite hungry by
the time I got to eat.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Hatching: Watch Out World

Hatching: Watch Out World, here I come. For Illustration Friday (oops, I put this on the wrong blog! Darn iT!)

Monday, December 07, 2009

In Flander's Fields (Detail)

In case you haven't guessed, I basically haven't been online for
several days except to post artwork for the Moleskine exchange I'm in.
This is a detail from my newest watercolor painting for the Moleskien
Exchange. You can see the whole thing by clicking here.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


I painted "Benthic" first in Watercolors and then scanned and added a gradient. I did nothing else to it. Click to view larger.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Detail, companion

This is a new art piece I made today in Ander's Mole for the Moleskine
Exchange group. See the whole piece here.

Friday, December 04, 2009


I had a dizzy spell that lasted all day yesterday. Read about it here.

I created the fractal graphic on Fractalworks, a free download for Macs.

We Were the Mulvaneys

We Were the Mulvaneys We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
We Were the Mulvaneys, by Joyce Carol Oates. This is an expansive book covering the lives of six people in the Mulvaney family and their extended family and friends. It's a sad and heart-rending book, a book of joys and sorrows. An event happens early in the book, beyond the control of anyone in the book, that negatively affects the entire family. The book chronicles the disintegration of family and bonds and entire lives due to this one event.

I felt that too many words filled the book. Other than that, it was a very interesting, engaging read. Slow starter, but then got very good.

View all my reviews >>

I am very excited becasue this is my 53rd recorded book of the year (I think I may have missed a few) and that makes more than a book a week. YAY!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

my children's story

mini detail from one of the drafts of the illos for my chidlren's
story. See the whole thing here.