Don’t Try this at Home … Or at the Library

And now for your viewing pleasure:

By Grant Snider for the essay “Clunkers” by James McWilliams in the New York Times Sunday Book Review on July 7.
Via Pleated Jeans.

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Holiday Haiku

Being a smart ass
…only good if people laugh,
when in work meeting.

Can’t seem to shut up,
“But the birds might choke on them.”
Tried to stop talking.

Lazy day at home,
Reading books and petting cats.
Paid holiday time!

Balcony at night –
Red, blue, gold, and green sparkles;
Home fireworks show.

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Literary News

Literary-Stamp Here’s some cool news! It’s about a stamp, heritage, and literature. But first, some background.

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Book Review: Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe SchreiberPerry’s parents insist that he take Gobi, their quiet, Lithuanian exchange student, to senior prom but after an incident at the dance he learns that Gobi is actually a trained assassin who needs him as a henchman, behind the wheel of his father’s precious Jaguar, on a mission in Manhattan.

Title : Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick
Author : Joe Schreiber
ISBN : 9780547577388
Copyright : 2011
Pages : 190

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Nature Haiku

Why does my cat stare?
His gaze – hooded defiance,
Tail lifted to pee.

Legs hang low, behind
Rotund, bowling ball body;
Herons seeking sky.

Hooves carry doe close
To nibble upon choice grass.
Wild in suburb.

Cracked tomato stem,
Too heavy under twelve fruit;
Saved by purple floss.

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Return of the Haiku

Starting a new job
Consumed with thoughts of myself;
Lost sight of the world.

Not a good excuse,
But common. Job search demands
Awareness of self.

Two moves in three months;
Uncertainty and self doubt.
Bubble of aplomb.

Top of my A-game
Always helpful and friendly;
Strive to prove them right.

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United States of Authors

I found a new picture that needs more study! The following image is sold by The Literary Gift Company. It is filled with the names of authors somehow affiliated with the section of the USA in which their name is located. The picture needs more study because I’m not always sure why or how the author is linked to the region. I think it’s just a sign that I need to become more familiar with American authors. 😉

Discovered via the Dakota County Library Facebook page.

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Movie Review : Les Miserables

Les MiserablesBased on the novel by Victor Hugo, ‘Les Miserables’ travels with prisoner-on-parole, 24601, Jean Valjean, as he runs from the ruthless Inspector Javert on a journey beyond the barricades, at the center of the June Rebellion. Meanwhile, the life of a working class girl with a child is at turning point as she turns to prostitution to pay money to the evil innkeeper and his wife who look after her child, Cosette. Valjean promises to take care of the child, eventually leads to a love triangle between Cosette, Marius who is a student of the rebellion, and Eponine, a girl of the streets. The people sing of their anger and Enjolras leads the students to fight upon the barricades.

Title : Les Miserables
Director : Tom Hooper
Year : 2011
Rating : PG-13
Duration : 158 minutes
Main Actors : Russell Crowe
Hugh Jackman
Amanda Seifred
Anne Hathaway

3.5 Stars
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Kids Craft : Monkey Face

I discovered this paper craft on Pinterest; it is originally from the Fiskars website. It looked simple and fun, so I gathered the supplies. I did this craft with my nieces and nephews; there were five children, ages 5 – 13 years old. This craft can take 15 – 45 minutes to make, depending upon the level of prep work done by the adult prior to the craft and the time taken by the children to create embellishments.

Monkey Collage

You will need:

  • Glue
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Construction Paper
  • Permanent Marker
  • Bowls, 2 Sizes – a round tupperware and small individual applesauce containers work well
  • Oval Bowl, Half the Size of the Largest Bowl


  1. Begin by asking the children to choose three different colors of construction paper.The older children can assist by ripping paper out carefully, if paper is held together in book.
  2. Using the largest bowl, trace one circle on the paper of the child’s choice and then have it cut out. I preferred that the darkest color be used for this; it will be the face of the monkey. Set it aside.
  3. Using the smaller bowl/cup, trace two circles; cut these out. These should be on lighter colored or contrasting paper to that of the face background. These will be the ears. Set aside.
  4. Using the oval bowl, trace on the same color paper as that of step #3. This will be the mouth area of the monkey. Set aside.
  5. Take a piece of rectangle paper in the same color as the mouth and ears no longer than the height of the circle used for the monkey’s face, and no wider than half its width. Fold this paper in half. Cut a heart out of this paper; open the paper. If you are unhappy with the heart shape, fold again and continue cutting until satisfied. This is the eye area of the monkey face.
  6. Gently mark where the eyes will go on the heart shaped paper with a pencil. I recommend placing them about a half inch from the edge of the heart and evenly spaced about a quarter inch on each side of the crease. Use the hole punch to create the eyes.
  7. Take the third piece of paper. This will be where the monkey face is glued. Decide whether the paper will be in portrait or landscape mode for the artwork.
  8. Place glue on the back of the largest circle created in step #2.
  9. Using the smaller circles created in step #3, place them on the gluey surface of the first circle so that at least half of the smaller circle over hangs the edges of the largest circle. The smaller circles should be symmetrically placed on opposite sides of the large circle. Add a little more glue to the backs of the smaller circles. Turn the entire collection of circles over and press the gluey side to the third sheet of paper.
  10. Place glue on the back of the heart. Turn it over and press the gluey side to the center of the large circle.
  11. Place glue on the back of the oval. Turn it over and place it over the bottom portion of the heart and large circle. Press it down securely. Some of this oval can hang over the sides of the large circle.
  12. Using the permanent marker, draw a half circle on the oval shape. Then draw two slanting lines in a “V” shape that don’t connect at the bottom of the “V” above the half circle mouth line.
  13. Add quote, message, or embellishments to the page. You are now done!
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DIY Removing Furniture Marks in Carpet

I moved a few weeks ago. After the movers took my furniture, I was left with dozens of furniture marks in the carpet. I used an old toothbrush and rubbed against the grain of the pressed down carpeting. With a little effort, I was able to greatly improve the appearance of the carpeting. (I didn’t have any ice cubes in the house or I would have tried a technique I learnt from Pinterest.) However, I was pleased with my results.

Toothbrush collage

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