Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bad dog year

You know you've had a bad dog year when you get a Christmas card from the Neurology Department of the 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Two more favorite gifts

My sister-in-law makes THE most amazing quilts. This one is my favorite ever. I love the birds. I love the color. Both sides are equally pretty. Love it.

And this way cool reading light (from my son) that lights up the whole page and is so easy to read in the dark. (Thank you, Janet, for steering me toward this!)

Christmas gifts

I had a lovely, blessed Christmas.

As the song goes, these are a few of my favorite things:

A silver baby cup engraved with Popeye and Elvis (Isn't my hubby great?):

My dad's Army Air Corps pin converted into a charm/pendant. (Isn't my hubby great?):

Some antique silver corn on the cob holders from my sister:

A Keurig coffee maker:

My gift to hubby.
Can you guess what they are?
Give up?
Vintage pigeon racing clocks!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Ramblings

I had a glorious but chilly Christmas. The furnace went out Christmas Day.

We played with our traditional remote control helicopter from Santa:

I enjoyed my Brookstone heated shiatsu massager (in my down jacket because it was so dang cold in the house):

Matty supervised the unwrapping:

Ruby enjoyed her new toy:

Christmas dinner awaits (during which we open our stockings):

Santa brought me lots of nips for those cold winter nights:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ho Ho Ho

Wishing you all a wonderful and blessed holiday season.

Signing off until next week.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My last book

Received a letter from a kid recently:

Dear Barbara O'Connor:

When are you making your last book?

Uh, oh....maybe I already have.


Monday, December 21, 2009

This and that

A good day for a blizzard.

I am still sorta kinda sick.

Got some copyediting to do. (Or is that copy editing? I never can remember. Or should it be "I can never remember"? I need a copyeditor. Or is that a copy editor?)

Some Chex Party Mix to make.

Some Christmas stuff to do.

Outside my front door:

The view out front (with the door open):

Outside my back door:

The snow piled on the roof outside my office window:

The family room window:

The dining room window:

Some holiday cheer:

My grandmother's celluloid Santa sleigh:

Now that I have Chex Party mix, it's beginning to look a bit more like Christmas:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Okay, I promise....

....I'm gonna stop deluging you with reviews of The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis.

But, come on, how can I not link to this one from Fuse #8!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A brilliant motto

A student from Arkansas recently sent me her family's motto:

Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie, and when you do both, make sure you read.

She included a note: "I added the last phrase myself."

You gotta love her!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Are you sick of me yet?

One more lovely review and a shout-out to my friend and Iowa librarian. (Hey, Devin!)

Another nice review

Many thanks to author Greg Leitich Smith for this nice review!

Horn Book Review

From the January/February issue of Horn Book Magazine:

The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis
by Barbara O’Connor

Intermediate Foster/Farrar 150 pp.

Living with his grandmother and good-for-nothing uncle, Dooley, Popeye (so named courtesy of Dooley’s poor shooting with a BB gun) sees his summer in Fayette, South Carolina, passing with the same dull, steady speed as the water dripping from his ceiling. There’s nothing to do and nobody to do it with—until a stranger, one Elvis Jewell, comes to town.

Elvis, his parents, and a passel of younger brothers and sisters are stuck—or, to be more exact, their glorious silver Holiday Rambler motor home, decorated with bumper stickers, lightning bolts, and a howling coyote, is stuck—in Fayette’s mud. Elvis, who spits and swears, is a bad-boy kind of leader. So when he suggests, “Let’s have a small adventure,” Popeye, naively convinced that adventure must indeed lie just around the corner, readily agrees. The two go deep into the forbidden woods, follow clues stuck in paper boats, solve a series of riddles, and find a friend in this small slice of life.

Never overdoing the colloquial expressions, O’Connor captures South Carolina speech patterns; she quietly paces the narrative, often placing short sentences in a vertical sequence for emphasis. Yes, sometimes the best gifts come in small packages. --Betty Carter

Friday, December 11, 2009


I had a terrific school visit in Arkansas!

My fabulous hostess (right) and her son:

Group 1:

Group 2:

Group 3:

A great poster made for me by my hostess's son:

A scarf made for me by this student (Isn't it beautiful!?):

And guess what? I am now an official Ambassador of Arkansas! I was presented with a certificate signed by the governor. I will now spread the word that Arkansas is great and you can get sweet tea and pulled pork barbecue sandwiches there:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis

Thanks so much to The Book Nut for this terrific review.

Readers Theater Part 2

More pics from readers theater group, Voices from Down Yonder, in Arkansas.

Kimberly Willis Holt (left) and Alexandria LaFaye, rehearsing:

Kerry Madden punching holes in her script. (See what hard work this is?)

(l to r) Kathi, Kimberly, Kerry and Alexandria. (Some of us aren't paying attention to Cynthia!)

PowerPoint slide of all of the books performed:

The night of the performance: (l to r) Kathi, me, Kimberly, Alexandria, Kerry (we chose a lovely backdrop for our photo, didn't we?)

(l to r) Kathi, Kimberly, Cynthia, Alexandria, Kerry:

Phew! We did it! After the performance with Cynthia: