"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Shall We Play a Game?

Shall We Play a Game?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. If you've never seen the movie WAR GAMES, you should give it a try. With all of the remakes being pushed through Hollywood, I'm seriously surprised this one has not yet received a reboot.

Speaking of games... some years ago I participated in a blogfest game based on the famous Bernard Pivot questionnaire which was used for years on the INSIDE THE ACTOR STUDIO series hosted by James Lipton. This was a great show which you can catch replays of on youtube. Unfortunately, Lipton retired a couple of years ago, and then died earlier this month. Anyway, I digress. You can see that original post here: Bernard Pivot Blogfest.

I mention all of this now because recent events, conversations, and publications have inspired various versions of this game. I'd love for you to play along with me as well. Please share your comments below, or link to your own post about this game.

So, let's play!

What book(s) are on your nightstand? The Bible, Player Piano, by Kurt Vonnegut, a biography of the artist Prince, and a couple of Nora Roberts works.

What’s the last great book you read? I just finished reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien who I was fortunate enough to meet and interview a few years ago.

Describe your ideal reading experience (when, where, how?).  In the evenings - or late into the night, snuggled into my favorite pj's, with a dog in my lap, and hot chocolate to drink.
What’s your favorite book no one else heard of?  Wow, this one is difficult. I'm not sure what all would be considered "unheard of" as someone knows of it since it was published. Instead, I'll mention a favorite that is not currently being discussed in popular culture. I've always loved The Lady of Shalott. It's a lyrical ballad by the English poet Alfred Tennyson and based on the medieval Donna di Scalotta. It tells the story of Elaine of Astolat, a young noblewoman imprisoned in a tower on an island near Camelot.

Which writers working today do you admire most? I've read many works by, but not all of, and enjoy Nora Roberts, R.L. Stine, Karen Kingsbury, and Stephen King. 

Has a book ever brought you closer to another person, or come between you? Many books have brought me closer to my children. Reading and enjoying that time together is priceless. Some of our favorites have been Alice in Wonderland, the Harry Potter series, and right now we are enjoying Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. 
How do you organize your books? Mostly by genre, then by author, and then by favorites.

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing? The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I just couldn't...
How about you? It's your turn. Please leave your answers, or a link to your own post, below. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

St. Patrick's Day Self Isolation and Activities


Wondering how to celebrate this holiday during a time of encouraged self-isolation? First, be sure you're getting fresh air. If you're not going outside, at least open some windows. Fresh air and sunlight are a natural disinfectant. Some educational and fun holiday ideas include:

  • Streaming Irish jigs and songs.
  • Watching traditional Irish dance on YouTube or chrome cast to your TV.
  • Adding green food dye to your short bread cookie recipes.
  • Sewing or gluing crazy Green Irish hats, ties or belts using felt, ribbons, or fabrics.
  • Cooking Irish Stew, scones and clotted cream or butter from scratch or from cans. 
  • Telling Irish fables about leprechauns, rainbows, pots of gold, or gnomes.
  • Reminding your children about the “kiss of the blarney” and the folkloric tradition known today as “the gift of the gab”.
  • Research the real St. Patrick.
Below are some additional activities I recommend for you and your family to keep the isolation from getting to you. If you have any additional suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

For Education Specific:

All Subjects





Fine Arts/Culture


Offline Activities

  • Poetry reading and/or read-aloud time. Sometimes when I’m doing something like cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry I have the kids read to me so we can work on pronunciation and other reading skills.
  • As volunteers die down at local animal shelters because everyone is in quarantine, you might consider giving a rescue animal a little vacation in your home so you can teach your kids about pet ownership. Most animal shelters appreciate temporary fosters because it lessens the strain, especially during a crisis. Just be sure to get an animal that has a good track record around kids and never leave kids unsupervised.

More Ideas from the Archives