No Internet, Phone, or Game Systems for Six Months?

Could you do it?

Gadgetry Report

Could You Go Without Technology for Six Months?

Science Report
96% of Some Bee Species Gone

Animal Report
Elephant Population Down 95% in Liberia

Working and Parenting

Valentine Advents!

History Report
Girl Gangs May Have Ruled England in 18th Century


Force-Fed For Beauty

While girls in the West are known to starve themselves for some distorted standard of beauty, girls in Mauritania are often force-fed to gain weight in order to attract a man.

Single Woman Talk
Young Girls Stuffed For Beauty in Mauritania

Military Book Club
Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods

Farm Talk
Are Pigs Really a Flu Threat to Humans?

Toxic Waste Cloud
You’re Inconvenienced, Are You?

Health Food Talk
Yay or Nay for Chocolate Milk?

Weight Loss Can Cause Body Poisoning

We never hear about the pitfalls of weight loss, but there really are plenty of them. This teaches us, at the very least, that people should be informed before making drastic lifestyle choices.

Healthy Recovery
Weight Loss Can Lead to Body Poisoning

Parenting Report
Create a Reading Nook

Craft World
10 Snow Crafts to Do This Winter

Fantasy Book Club
Gregor the Overlander

Sci Fi Book Club
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane

Things I Love Thursday

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday, and that January is near its end! What a quick start to 2011. Here are some things I’ve been loving lately.

The Gregor the Overlander series, by Suzanne Collins. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m plowing through it as quickly as I did The Hunger Games. That woman can write, and boy do I love her stuff!  TJ bringing me flowers for our anniversary yesterday–along with some of my favorite foods (strawberries, sunflower seeds, and my favorite OJ, among others)  DATE DAY approaching! Can’t wait to spend a whole evening/night alone with my guy.  Re-instating “Me Nights”  our new kitten, River, who is aptly named, as all he seems to be able to do is cry us a river! We hope he feels more secure soon.  The Wrestler–what an incredible film!  Interlibrary loans! Right now I’m borrowing Connection Parenting and Wounded by School making Wood Sprite’s Valentine advent (which includes a few small surprise trinkets from our adventure at the Butterfly House a few weeks ago)  surprise visits from my sisters  balsamic vinaigrette, on pretty much everything  losing five pounds!  playing pretend with Wood Sprite (yesterday we had to save our family from the leprechauns who lived beneath the waterfall, past the jungles of Naboo and the sickly swamp of Fantasia… okay, so I wasn’t very creative with the names!)  watching Hayao Miyazaki films with Wood Sprite and seeing her face light up (her current favorites are Ponyo–whom she likes to pretend to be, naturally–and My Neighbor Totoro listening to Wood Sprite’s on-the-spot, made up songs about/to our new kitty  reading The Hunger Games aloud with TJ  Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Romancing the Ordinary, which is full of activities most people could enjoy (how about a sake soak in the tub, or a cup of decadent homemade hot chocolate?)  our post-holiday living room arrangement, which makes for so much more room to play!

Annual Book Quiz

Each month, I receive so much inspiration from the Daisy Yellow blog. It’s one of my favorites, and this month includes the author’s awesome list of art (and other genres of) books to read, if you’re interested. A book quiz/meme was also posted, so I thought I’d do one for my reads of 2010, too! So, here goes:

1. What is on your reading list for 2011?
Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins (first book complete!)
T.A. Barron’s Lost Years of Merlin Series (book one complete)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (complete; it was wonderful)
Brandon Mull’s newest book, Beyonders
Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write and The Sound of Paper
Patti Digh’s Life is a Verb (loving it!) and Creative is a Verb
Obert Skye’s Leven Thumps series (Books 1 and 2 complete)
The new Septimus Heap book (Darke) by Angie Sage (Come ON, June! Get here, already!!)
Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Romancing the Ordinary (absolutely loving it so far)
All of the Stephen King books I’m behind on, including Cell, Lisey’s Story, Under the Dome, Duma Key, and Full Dark, No Stars (I own all of these; not sure why I haven’t read them yet!)
Rick Riordan’s latest installments of The Kane Chronicles (in May!) and The Heroes of Olympus (this fall!)
Christopher Pike’s The Secret of Ka
Many, many others…

2. What was the best fiction book you read in 2010?
The Hunger Games, hands down

3. What book was the biggest let down in 2010?
The Mortal Instruments series. It was such a wonderful idea with great imagination, but the characters were just too annoying.

4. Do you remember the first short story you wrote as a kid? What was it about?
An ABC book about being a superhero veterinarian. I was about four. The first actual story-story I wrote was about a war between GI Joe and Barbie (the latter won), when I was eight.

5. Do you keep track of the books you read?
Not really; I just check off the ones on my list when I remember to. I need to start keeping track at Good Reads!

6. How many books are on your TO READ list?
Over 2,000. I know, it’s pretty ambitious! I actually added a bunch of books from the Daisy Yellow suggestions to my Amazon wishlist, too.

7. Where is your favorite reading spot?

The bathtub, when I can manage it. I’m usually sneaking books in the bathroom, though!

8. How many books (fiction + non-fiction) did you read in 2010?
I wish I knew. At least 40, by counting them on my fingers right now! Maybe 1,000 if you count the children’s books I read to Wood Sprite, too. 😉

9. Do you read more than one book at once?
I read The Hunger Games trilogy twice, per book. Suzanne Collins is my new idol.

10. Do you read more fiction or non-fiction?

Definitely more fiction. Non-fiction takes me forever because I’m constantly taking notes while I read. I do read both, though. Most of my fiction is fantasy, and most of my non-fiction is democratic education-based, but I do read most genres.

Things I Love Thursday

Today’s a snow day! And if you’re snowed in or just feel like playing with 10 super fun words, come play at Creative Copy Challenge today, where Challenge 111 features word prompts chosen by yours truly. Here is my own wacky entry!

Things I’m Loving This Week…

Glee! I always said I’d never watch a sitcom, since when I was a kid I just hated them, but I’ve suddenly found myself obsessed with this darn show.  Singstar–still playing a few times a week!  Leven Thumps–can’t wait to read the rest of the series.  snow  seeing deer in the backyard again  watching Supernatural, yet another TV show; I’m afraid my brain may be turning to mush  interlibrary loans  cool new craft books from Highlights  playing weather phenomenon games with Wood Sprite and her zoobles (today it was a tornado)  having a relatively clean house  compliments from strangers  bubblegum oldies  our new blu-ray player  planning for next weekend’s date day  reading The Hunger Games out loud with TJ  Wood Sprite’s constantly changing request for a dog (yesterday it was a black lab, though the day before it was a “germy leopard” (German shepherd), and it keeps varying)  new blog subscribers (wink, wink!)  singing The Requiem in the shower (especially with my scrumdilluptious sugar scrub)  open days filled with promise  free family films series

The Adventures of Leven Thumps Continue

Though I’m not as in love with this series as I am with The Hunger Games and Fablehaven, it remains an original, incredible adventure unlike any other you’ve ever read. I highly recommend Leven Thumps to any fantasy/adventure lover.

Adventure Book Club

Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret

Medicine Report
Medical Films: Extraordinary Measures

Spirituality Bestsellers
The Little Prince

Recreation Book Club
How Flowers Grow

Just Call Me a Gleek