Friday, January 29, 2010

Gee, thanks

This came in handy today (seriously):

Book club

I was recently invited to a book club meeting.

The club was a group of second graders who had read Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia.

They were so smart and sweet and funny.

I took Bird with me:

I was greeted at the door by an awesome wreath decorated in honor of the book:

And here we are!

Thanks, you guys!!!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My eggshell trophy

So the other day I was at my friend's house. She is one of those people who can make anything out of anything. We love to tease her ruthlessly (and do) about saving the weirdest things in case she needs them to make something.

When I noticed washed out eggshells by her sink, I said, "What are you going to do with those?"

Her: I don't know. I thought I might be able to use them for something.

So, of course, I thought that was hilarious and teased her. (But she's a wonderful sport about it. Reason #458 why I love her.)

Two days later, after I told her my news about the option for The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester, she showed up at my door with THIS:

A little eggshell trophy:

How can you not ADORE a friend like that?!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gimme, gimme

Anybody with the nickname Gadget MUST have the new iPad.

Trying on dresses...

....for the movie premiere.

The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester has been optioned!

(By Jon Niermann of West Meets East Productions)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My family's so weird

Everyone needs a stuffed skunk, right?

And a ratty looking pheasant (notice that this is relegated to the garage):

Steer skull (also in garage):

Longhorns (son's bedroom):


Alligator claws:

Ya gotta have a badger:

Our latest addition (thanks a lot, Gucci):

Check out that tongue. (Also in garage, by the way)

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm so classy

Letter from a student:

My favorite thing about you is you like to be friendly with people and you are classy.

I love kids.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A day in the life of GG and me

So, GG and I headed down to Falmouth today (on Cape Cod).

We had a lovely time cruising Eight Cousins Bookstore.

GG was in a state of rapture.
Here she is with Charlotte's Web.
Oh, GG, you are such a Book Geek/Geek Girl.

Here is GG on the beach, chatting with her peeps:

GG taking a pic of me taking a pic of her:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Geek Girl and Gadget

Look who's at my house!!!!!
And look how much fun we're having!

What? You didn't guess who that is at my house?

That's GG - otherwise known as Geek Girl - otherwise known as the one and only Mickey Mouse lover extraordinaire, Sarah Miller. (She calls me Gadget.)

I have to confess, she kicked it up a notch on the cool scale when she went and did this. She totally rocked it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

ALA Midwinter Conference

Had a great time at the ALA conference on Saturday.

(l to r) Cindy Lord, Tamra Wight, me, Valerie Giogas, Julia Lord

FSG hosted a wonderful luncheon for me:

(left side, front to back) Cathie Mercer (Simmons College's Center for the Study of Children's Literature), Rick Margolis (School Library Journal), Lauren Wohl (Associate Publisher FSG/Roaring Brook/First Second), Ed Spicer of Michigan Reading Journal and Spicy Reads, Margaret Ferguson (publisher, editorial director, FSG), Wendy Lukehart, chair of ALA 2010 preconference

(right side, front to back) Simon Boughton's arm (Publisher FSG. Sorry, Simon!), Marie Orlando, Eliza Dresang (University of Washington), Andrea Vaughan (Brooklyn Public Library), Betsy Bird (Fuse #8)

Roger Sutton interviewing Lois Lowry:

Tamra Wight (left) and me (holding my book for the original Yoohoo boat maker)

Monday, January 18, 2010


Many congratulations to all of the award winners today, especially my buds Grace Lin and Tanya Lee Stone!


Remember when Matty wanted nothing to do with little Ruby?

Time heals all:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Go ahead, waste my time

My new obsessions (besides Cafe Francais):

Personal best = 246,630.
Go ahead, beat me.

Stuck on Level 12.

Beat the whole game.
Oh, yeah...

And thanks to my Facebook friend: Boggle! (in which I usually get about 27 out of 183 words):

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dear Cafe Francais Destroyers:

They actually wrote me back:

Hi Barbara,

Thank you for visiting

The formulation of General Foods International From The Makers of Maxwell House has indeed changed and I'm sorry you were disappointed with your most recent purchase.
Your experience is important to us.

I would like to send you a reimbursement coupon for the product but unfortunately, I don’t have your address. If you would like to have the product replaced please reply with your full mailing address.

Our staff works very hard to provide the best tasting and satisfying products to the preferences of most consumers. Your opinion about the product is important to us as well and I will share your comments with our product development staff.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


My husband and I went out to dinner.

On the way home, it was dark and snowing.

Just as we were driving past a shopping center, I said, "Quick! Turn in here."

What he said: "Oh, geez, you're not going to look for that stupid coffee of yours, are you?"

What I thought: "Oh, be quiet and just give me some money, wouldya?

What I said: "Well, yeah, I thought I might just take a peek. Do you have some money on you? Do you need anything while we're here?" *smiles sweetly*

He handed me a twenty.

I dashed in.

Raced to the coffee aisle.


There were seven, SEVEN, SEVEN cans of blue-label Cafe Francais.

I didn't even have a basket with me. I just scooped those suckers up.

I hurried to the checkout.

Those cans were $4.49 each!!

I threw them down on the checkout and said, "Guard those with your life. I'm going to get more money."

I raced outside and yanked the car door open.

What I said: "I need more money."

What he said: "Oh, good grief, are you kidding me?"

What I thought: "Oh, just be quiet and give me the dang money, wouldya?"

What I said: "Oh, just be quiet and give me the dang money, wouldya?"

I grabbed another twenty, raced back inside, paid for those darling little cans, and I am happy.

The End

Photographic evidence:

Monday, January 11, 2010

My quest continues

Okay, now I'm REALLY obsessed with finding the old version of Cafe Francais in the blue label (as opposed to the supposedly new and improved).

Some blog readers have given me good suggestions (especially Kirby Larson, who told me to switch to beer).

One person got me to this message board where I see I am not alone in my outrage. I wrote a few scathing letters. I'm sure that will do the trick.

But in the meantime, I took another suggestion and hit the local Job Lot.

They had Fat City Coffee ("with Chutzpah"):

They had Extra Caffeinated Santa's Breakfast Buzz:

They had Fudge Brownie Coffee:

They had Nutt'n But Kisses Valentine Coffee Collection:

And they had Sumatran Vanilla Latte:

But, alas, no Cafe Francais with a blue label.
So I went to a few grocery stores.
Nope, only the NEW AND IMPROVED:

So then I got really desperate and went to the Dollar Tree:

They had Pampa Instant Coffee:

And Ameretto Cappuccino Supreme (with highly questionable expiration dates):

And Mazel Original Coffee Mix with Sugar & Creamer added (yum!):

But, alas, no Cafe Francais with a blue label.

I am doomed.