I Love Toni Buzzeo!

 

Really! The woman is a genius!

 

I have been reading the “back to school” selection of books to my students this week and I chose Get Fired Up With Reading! for my second through fourth grade students. It never fails to inspire my students to read.They all want to have a contest and get their teachers into the dragon-head costume! Mrs. Skorupski is at it again as she challenges the entire school to read. The winning class is awarded the honor of having their teacher in the head of the dragon costume to be worn in the Read Across America parade. The top readers (measured in minutes read) in each grade level will fill out the body of the dragon.

 

Two girls in Mr. Dickinson’s fourth grade class battle it out while one kindergartener needs help to be the dragon’s tail! See who wins in this wonderful book that is inspiring my students to read!

 

Toni Buzzeo is a school library media specialist (this is what she calls herself) in Maine. She has written numerous books about Mrs. Skorupski and her devious ways to get students to use the library media center! She has also written other non-library education books that leave me breathless, such as The Sea Chest. However, I think her brilliance is in the way she inspires educators such as myself to read and explore the library.

 

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I Have A Dream…

Scott Hill Cemetery sign, Onancock

Scott Hill Cemetery sign, Onancock (Photo credit: Joel Abroad)

 

Kerr Place

Kerr Place (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

GardenART, Onancock

GardenART, Onancock (Photo credit: Joel Abroad)

 

English: designating the town of Onancock. Thi...

English: designating the town of Onancock. This marker is located on the west side of (Lankford Highway) about 75 feet north of West Main Street in Accomack County, between mile markers 112 and 113 near Onancock. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

No, I am not quoting the late Martin Luther King, Jr. I DO have a dream. I have just fallen in love with this little town I am visiting and would love to move here. Unfortunately, there are no jobs to be had in the town and few outside the town.

Onancock, Virginia is a very quaint town. If you have been to Bar Harbor, Maine … well, it is less touristy and a bit smaller, but very similar. Castine, Maine is how it feels. Just a southern coastal feel to town. Friendly people. Quiet but not too much so. Nearly perfect for where I want to grow old and maybe enjoy while I am still young. Okay…young-ish.

First part of the dream – a job. Then, a house. Then … a big garden so I can start my own market! Yep, that is the dream, to have a large enough garden to pay for myself and my family.

 

There are houses here needing renovations and which have property enough for a garden. I have to save up 50K to purchase the house and another 50K to make renovations inside. Anyone have about 100K laying about with nothing better to do? I can put it to use!! Too bad I have to have that full time job to go with my dream! Oh, well. More work = faster toward my dream.

 

Have a lovely post 4th of July week while I slave away (not really) over the lovely historical documents donated to the historical society (Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society). I am having fun working on the collection. The artifacts and documents are very interesting and I am keeping busy.

 

 

 

Cozy Mysteries

I have a confession. A guilty pleasure. I have discovered cozy mysteries. As a teacher librarian I do not have a lot of time to read adult literature during the school year because I am inundated with children’s lit. It is not a problem because I like children’s lit and I enjoy bringing the material to my students. However, it would be great to read something a bit more mature during the year. Normally, I would grab some YA lit which is quick and easy but necessarily intended for grown ups! So when I found the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke, I fell in love. That series is based on Hannah Swensen, her cookie shop (The Cookie Jar), her family, crazy friends and her propensity to discover dead bodies. What I really loved where the recipes! I plan to buy the cook book associated with the series! That led me to a couple of other food related series. I could relate to many of the Minnesota references as I once lived outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area for a year. Freezing temperatures, hardiness of the natives, great baking recipes and the occasional dead body. What is not to love about that?

Cover of "Shades of Earl Grey: A Tea Shop...

Cover of Shades of Earl Grey: A Tea Shop Mystery

The funny thing I realized recently is that I had read some cozy mysteries in the past but had no clue it was a specific genre. I began reading the Laura Childs series, TEA SHOP

MYSTERY Series: Charleston Tea Room Owner. I LOVE teas and when I saw the book, Shades of Earl Grey in 2003 (I make note of this so you will know it came before the ‘other’ book of a similar title) I was hooked. I drink Earl Grey like babies drink milk! Fun information for the tea-aholic in me and recipes for the goodies made in the tea shop using tea in some of the recipes!

Another cozy series is The Lucy Stone Mystery series by Leslie Meier and the Trash N’ Treasures Mystery series by husband and wife team Barbara Allan (yes, they talk food too but I love the tips about antiquing). Perhaps I relate a bit because I can see the relationship between myself and my mother, who passed away a few short years ago, in these books. My mother was by no means as nuts as the mother in these stories but the general idea of how my mother could turn on a dime in the decision making process is in there!

I read a new cozy recently called, The Chocolate Cat Caper (A Chocoholic Mystery, #1) by Joana Carl. I am hooked, again, by the recipes and the characters. I can relate to the not-so-put-together heroine! I will be reading a few more of these when they become available for my Nook at my local public library!

Français : Église de Cranberry Isles

Français : Église de Cranberry Isles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have also started reading a cozy series based in the Cranberry Isles of Maine. Since I lived in Maine, not far from the Isles, and I camped on Mt. Desert Island (pronounced dessert by many locals – French ancestry here too)

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse Mt Desert Island

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse Mt Desert Island (Photo credit: foroyar22)

every summer with my husband and daughter, I feel a connection to the area. When I read the stories I smile. The sweet memories The Gray Whale Inn Mysteries by Karen MacInernery brings to me are a joy.  The recipes don’t hurt either. I can relate to the heroine also as a southern transplant to the state of Maine I now miss a lot of the offerings found in my little town outside of Bangor. I miss the great trips to the coast and the colorful people I met while there. If there is a cook book out there I may have to get it as well.

You can tell I find kinship in the books I read for soft entertainment. If I cannot relate then I do not enjoy!