TSS: Stephen Huneck (January 10, 2010)

You can see other Sunday Salon posts and join in on the fun at The Sunday Salon.

On Friday, I read in my local paper that Vermont artist and author, Stephen Huneck, passed away on Thursday. He killed himself after battling with depression.

As a first grade teacher and as a dog owner, I am a big fan of Stephen Huneck’s books and art work. I own all of his “Sally” books, with some of them being autographed. I was fortunate enough to meet Stephen Huneck at two different signings.

He also created and built Dog Chapel, in his words:

I wanted to build a chapel, one that celebrated the spiritual bond we have with our dogs, and that would be open to dogs and people. People of any faith or belief system.

I have never had the chance to visit Dog Chapel, but I hope to go some day.

Stephen Huneck celebrated the bond between dogs and human in his art work and books. I know there are many furry friends that greeted Stephen Huneck as he passed from this world.

For more about Stephen Huneck:


Bloggiesta Time!

I’m ready to join the Bloggiesta! I had a blast at the last Bloggiesta and I got so much accomplished! I have a  bit more going on this weekend so I won’t be able to spend as much time.

Some goals:

  • Clean up tags – working on this/ also ended up adding categories
  • Tag old posts – COMPLETED
  • Clean up my Google Reader – it’s out of control!
  • Get some ideas for posts started
  • Get some templates created for posts
  • Work on my Blogroll – I don’t even know when I last updated it
  • Check out the mini-challenges
  • Organize past reviews
  • other?


I know with my limited time I won’t get most of these done… but it’s a good list to get myself started and to continue to work on throughout the year.

Nan’s Notes: Story of a Girl

by Sara Zarr

  • Pub. Date: January 2007
  • young adult/realistic fiction
  • 192 pages


  • 2007 National Book Award Finalist
  • American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults
  • ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
  • International Reading Association Honor Book
  • International Reading Association Choices Book
  • New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
  • Capitol Choices Pick
  • TX Tayshas Pick
  • Utah Book Award Finalist

Deanna, the narrator, was caught by her father having sex with her brother’s  best friend. The stigma of this stays with her over the next few years at school with Deanna and the rest of the school having trouble moving on from the incident. The relationship with her father was also damaged and continues to cause problems at home.

I really wanted to love this story. The synopsis on the back of the book intrigued me and I saw all the awards and honors it had won. But I felt detached throughout most of the book. Detached is how many of the characters felt with each other, so maybe that is what the author wanted me to feel… but I don’t think so. The other problem I had with the story is that the ending was very predictable.

I thought the author did a good job of conveying Deanna’s feeling of isolation and loneliness. I felt Deanna’s frustration with herself when she was angry that she kept doing or saying the wrong thing with those around her. I think everyone has had time or two when everything you said and did came out wrong. You can appear  mad at those around you, when you are really angry with  yourself.

There are a couple of characters I really liked. Deanna’s best friend Jason and her boss Michael stood out to me.  I enjoyed the conversations that Deanna and Michael had together. But one thing is for certain… I don’t think I ever would eat at that pizza place!

This is my first book of 2010! Woo hoo!

This copy of the book was borrowed from a friend.


Snow = Joy

Here is a short clip of Tessa having a blast in the snow.

TSS – Wrap up of 2009 and SNOW!

I really enjoyed looking over everyone’s wrap up of 2009. I took some time this weekend and figured out what I read and gathered a bit of data of my own reading.

Books read wrap up

  • Total number of books: 58
  • Total number of pages: 16,483
  • Male authors: 21
  • Female authors: 36
  • Fiction: 49
  • Nonfiction: 9
  • Graphic Novels: 9
  • Young Adult: 28
  • Reviews written: 31
  • audio books: 1

My overall reading goal was 100 books, which I didn’t make, but I did read more books this year than I ever have! So I feel that is a success!

This year I listened to my first audio book (Harry Potter #1) and I read graphic novels for the first time.

Challenge wrap up

Completed challenges:

Attempted challenges, but not completed:

Dropped out:

Book Award II Challenge


For the last week we kept hearing about a storm that was coming. I did all my errands and prepared to be snowed in, not really thinking that it would happen. Well this morning when I got up and opened up the curtains I almost fell over! We got a ton of snow! 26 inches so far… and it’s still snowing. Here are some pictures from my kitchen door.

The first  picture shows Tessa down in the yard.

The second picture is from my kitchen. You can just barely see Tessa down in the yard. Sara took one look at this and didn’t know what to do.

100 Mile Fitness Challenge 2

I participated in the first round of this challenge and did terrible! But, I’m healthy again and I’m hoping to get back on track with the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge 2. I’ll keep track of my miles below.

Here’s how it works:
In order to complete this Challenge, you will need to “travel” 100 miles from January 1st through March 31st.

Here’s how you calculate your mileage:
*Running or walking 1 mile outside or on a treadmill equals 1 mile.

*15 minutes of other workouts equals 1 mile (elliptical, swimming, weight lifting, workout video, workout classes, etc.).

total: 74 miles

  • 3/21 – 2 miles
  • 3/16 – 2 miles
  • 3/15 – 2 miles
  • 3/14 -1 mile
  • 3/11 – 3 miles
  • 3/8 – 2 miles
  • 3/7 – 2 miles
  • 3/6 – 2 miles
  • 3/3 2 miles
  • 3/1 – 2 miles
  • 2/28 – 2 miles
  • 2/26 – 2 miles
  • 2/25 – 2 miles
  • 2/24 – 2 miles
  • 2/21 – 6 miles
  • 2/18 – 1 mile
  • 2/16 – 2 miles
  • 2/15 – 2 miles
  • 2/14 – 2 miles
  • 2/13 – 1 mile
  • 2/12 – 1 mile
  • 2/11 – 2 miles
  • 2/10 – 3 miles
  • 2/9 – 2 miles
  • 2/8 – 2 miles
  • 2/7 – 2 miles
  • 2/6 – 2 miles
  • 1/27 – 1 mile
  • 1/25 – 1 mile
  • 1/21 – 2 miles
  • 1/19 – 1 mile
  • 1/18 – 1 mile
  • 1/17 – 3 miles
  • 1/12 – 1 mile
  • 1/6 – 1 mile
  • 1/5 – 1 mile
  • 1/4 – 1 mile
  • 1/3 – 3 miles
  • 1/2 -1 mile
  • 1/1 – 1 mile

2010 Take Another Chance

Although I did not do well with the 2009 Take a Chance Challenge, I did have fun participating. Here’s the info for the 2010 Take Another Chance challenge:

  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2010 until December 31, 2010.
  • I am participating at the smallest level –  A Small Gamble: Complete any 3 of the 12 challenges described below.
  • Each challenge you complete and link up in the correct Mr. Linky spots (which will be posted on January 1, 2010) will earn you entries into a prize drawing at the end of the challenge. Some of the challenges are harder and will earn you more entries. If you complete all 12 challenges, you will earn 5 extra entries into the drawing.
  • The prize is a book of the winner’s choice from Amazon (worth $25 or less).
  • Crossover books from other challenges is fine.
The 12 Challenges
  • Challenge 1: Read Your Doppelganger (worth 1 entry)
  • Challenge 2: Blogroll Roulette (worth 1 entry)
  • Challenge 3: 100 Best Book (worth 1 entry)
  • Challenge 4: Prize Winner Book (worth 1 entry)
  • Challenge 5: Title Word Count (worth 1 entry)
  • Challenge 6: Genre Switch-Up (worth 1 entry)
  • Challenge 7: Break A Prejudice (worth 1 entry)
  • Challenge 8: Real and Inspired (worth 2 entries)
  • Challenge 9: Same Word, Different Book (worth 2 entries)
  • Challenge 10: Become A Character (worth 2 entries)
  • Challenge 11: All in the Family (worth 2 entries)
  • Challenge 12: Author Anthology Pick (worth 2 entries)