April 2012 Archive

E is for Easter Eggs!

One of my family’s traditions is to make pysanka or Ukrainian Easter Eggs. Pysanka are made using wax and dyes to make beautiful designs.


I made mine this past weekend and took pictures along the way. It’s a fun and easy project, though it takes a bit to get used to ‘drawing’ on the egg with wax. I’ve loved making these since I was a kid. For those of you with youngsters around, I highly suggest picking up this tradition as it has always made Easter extra special for me.

First, you need certain materials. I got a small pack off Amazon for $10. It had one kistka (wooden tool used to ‘write’ with), one chunk of beeswax, six dyes and a set of patterns.









Wherever you ‘write’ with the beeswax on the egg is where the color will stay. After you are finished ‘writing,’ place the egg in whatever dye color you’d like (keeping in mind that you must start with the lighter colors). Wait a few minutes and Ta-da! Your egg is died!

Keep going with the process. Writing where you want the dye to stay and dying the rest of the egg.

Finished product! The only thing left to do is take off the wax.

Actually, finished product! I’m really awful at taking the wax off and usually peel it off with my fingernails (bad, bad). If you do these, I suggest looking up online how to really take off the wax.

D is for Delicious

It isn’t easy to live with someone. I like the house at 70, Cale likes it at 65. I want to sleep with a dozen blankets, Cale doesn’t. I like to read YA fiction, Cale likes to read non-fiction books about baseball or the ’60s. But worse of all, for us, is the question of delicious.

Cale’s from Mississippi and I’m from Minnesota, which explains the difference in our food tastes, but knowing that sure doesn’t make it any easier to decide what’s for dinner.

How on earth do you guys plan out dinners for the week with your husbands/wifes??

C is for Connection

Every once in a while, I’m completely struck by how connected we are. It’s like six degrees of separation boiled down to one.

Last week, I was perusing Rachel Frost’s blog and Bam! there’s Jack Flacco hanging out in the comments. I headed over to Emily R. King’s blog and Bam! turns out Janice Foy designed her awesomesauce blog. I  log onto Twitter and Bam! Sophia’s talking with everyone on there.

It’s crazy and sort of blows my mind and I’m pretty much in love with it. We’re all connected 🙂

What do you think of our connections? How has blogging made it easier for you all to see how connected we are?

B is for Books I’ve Kept

I don’t have an e-reader (*sigh*) and try my best to keep my physical books to a minimum. When you’ve moved every year for the past six years, you’ve got to minimize the things you have to pack. Including books, sadly. I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at the books that have survived each of the moves.

Harry Potter
The Old World Series by Garth Nix
The Study series by Maria V. Snyder
The Percy Jackson series by Riordan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan
Howl’s Movie Castle series by Diana Wynn Jones
A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeline L’Engle

(Wow, just realized those are all series!)

I also have a shelf just for Newberry Medal honor/medal books: The Giver, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, The Graveyard Book, Island of the Blue Dolphin… 🙂

I have a few random books, too, that  have followed me around. Many that I have ties from middle school but haven’t re-read and at least half of the books on my shelf are Cale’s (all of which are either history or sports related), but those listed above are the ones I doubt I could ever give up.

What books have you made sure to keep through the years?

A is for Audiobook Review- Bzrk by Michael Grant

Boy, I haven’t done an audiobook review in a while, but I thought it would be the perfect start for the A to Z Challenge!

Version: Unabridged
Author: Michael Grant
Narrator: Nico Evers-Swindell
Genres: Science Fiction, Juvenile Fiction
Publisher: Brillance Audio
Date: February 2012
Length: 10 hours, 21 minutes

From Goodreads: Time is running out for the good guys. But what happens when you don’t know who the good guys really are?
Noah and Sadie: newly initiated into an underground cell so covert they don’t even know each other’s real names. Trained for combat on the nano level, they are thrust into a war they can barely grasp. 
-Vincent: feels nothing and cares for no one. Fighting a personal battle with Bug Man, the greatest nano warrior alive.
-The Armstrong Twins: wealthy, privileged, fanatical. Are they the saviors of humanity or authors of the darkest conspiracy in history?
-On one side: Charles and Benjamin Armstrong’s Nexus Humanus. On the other: a group of teen hackers who call themselves BZRK.
-Twenty-first-century warfare that takes place on the macro and nano level for the highest stakes: humanity’s free will.
It’s time to choose sides.

Nano technology? Really? Yeah and it is totally awesome. It’s gruesome, gory and so vivid that it made my hands clench around my steering wheel on my drive to work. The stakes are high and keep climbing straight up to the end. Lately, I’ve been craving a book well written in third person- Bzrk hit the spot. Each pov is intricate and each character is perfectly rounded. I especially enjoyed that instead of going big, Grant went small, right down to the micro. Bzrk was just the right length (lasting one weeks worth of driving) and I definitely suggest it to anyone wanting to venture into the Sci Fi realm.

Nico has quite the voice. The most impressive part of his reading was the amount of accents he used. My only qualm was that I couldn’t decide if he meant to give Vincent a slight, occasional Southern accent. If he did, it didn’t work all that well. The others sounded spot on to me though.

All in all, I definitely suggest this. It will be interesting to give it a read and see if I enjoy it just as much as the audio format.