The new year has begun. I see everyone making resolutions and talking about all the possiblities and hope that this new year has to offer. I don’t know about making resolutions, but I do have high hopes for my new year. This year that has just flown by like a jet plane has been a time of high energy thanks in part to our high-voltage Electra.


Who ME?

In this coming year, I will be looking for some peace and quiet – some calm and SERENITY. Last year I was looking for SERENDIPITY, and I found it quite often. It’s a wondrous thing. But this year I’m taking that DIP out and looking for the calm in the storm. Electra will be leaving us at the end of February – going off to college at Southeastern Guide Dogs in Florida. She has been an amusing entertainment, but she makes me tired just watching her. There will be another pup coming home with the folks. I’m hoping with all my heart that it will come with the name SERENITY.

serenityThe dictionary defines SERENITY as the state of being calm, tranquil. What a lovely state to be in. That’s where I’m headed for the next year. However long that may be.

IMG_2802Mr James Taylor is the king of SERENITY. I often put his music on to calm Ms Electra –


I hope you are able to enjoy some SERENITY in your new year!
Looking for the calm
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The Start of a New Year

IMG_2242I understand that we are in to a brand new year. 2015. Numbers don’t mean much to my little canine brain. Years, days, weeks, months. Just words to me. I don’t have a good understanding about time. I know that I’m getting older – my body doesn’t seem to want to do things that it used to do. So I guess that means that years are passing by. But I wake up every morning to a new day! Sometimes I wake up from a good nap to a new day! And it’s most always good.

There seems to be a lot of celebration around the start of a new year. Staying awake way past my bedtime to watch balls drop on TV. I’d be happy to see some real balls drop. Drinking champagne and tooting horns. My humans love to celebrate. I guess a brand new year is something to hoot and holler about.

I’m celebrating the start of the new year with a couple of Ashley Wolff books that we happened across recently. All about that word “year.”

IMG_2249A Year of Beasts
by Ashley Wolff
published by E.P. Dutton in 1986

It begins –
In winter, in spring
in summer, and in fall –
in every month of the year
beasts of all kinds
live in the fields and forests
around Ellie and
Peter’s house.

IMG_2250And thus we are lead on a romping wildlife hunt through the months of the year. Each page spread reveals a new animal and a new happening apropos of the season. (apropos! big word for the day!) The text is simple and bold. It’s the pictures that tell the story of a year in the life of Ellie and Peter. And Ms Wolff’s artwork is absolutely JOYFUL!!

Book No. 2 is –

IMG_2245When Lucy Goes Out Walking
A Puppy’s First Year
by Ashley Wolff
published by Christy Ottaviano Books (Henry Holt and Co.) in 2009

It begins –
When Lucy goes out walking
In January snows,
She leaves a trail of puppy prints
Everywhere she goes.

IMG_2246This book is particularly apropos for our house because we have just been through a puppy’s first year! In each month of the year little Lucy encounters new and exciting adventures – just like our Electra has! And each month she gets a little bigger – just like our Electra has! And in the book, Lucy is always accompanied by her Best Boy. That’s one thing that Electra has missed out on. She’s had plenty of kids to play with, but no Best One. Me and Walker both had our Best Girl and I wish that she could have been here to help Electra, but alas she is far away and all grown up now. That’s what happens over the years. They come and go and little folks become big folks. And little critters become big critters. And all the new days march on.

You can visit Ms Wolff at her website HERE. Please do! You’ll be glad you did!

So – this is the Start of a New Year, A New Day – Make the most of NOW!

Celebrate your NOWS!
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The Reckoning and Movin’ On

2014 — Hmmmm. What does that mean exactly?

The Ghost of Christmas Presents has come and gone

IMG_4706The New Year Balls have dropped from the sky

IMG_4711Life seems to be pretty good! What now?

Well, I guess it’s time for a reckoning. Looking backwards at what was and where we are now. About this time last year, I entered into a challenge put forth by Shar Mohr at My Picture Book Writing Journey. She challenged readers to read 300 books in 2013. I accepted the challenge and began my quest. Sadly, I fell short of the goal. I read 191 books in 2013. That’s not a bad number. It’s really a good number. And I sure had fun along the way.

We read a LOT of good books in 2013. After some tough deliberation, I have picked out my 15 favorites of those 191 and I’ll give you the list – in the order that I read them.

IMG_0819The Golden Rule
written by Ilene Cooper
illustrated by Gabi Swiatowski
published by Abrams Books in 2007
Review here.

IMG_1067This Moose Belongs to Me
written and illustrated by
Oliver Jeffers
Published by Philomel Books in 2012
Review here

IMG_1131The Night I Followed the Dog
written and illustrated by
Nina Laden
Published by Chronicle Books in 1994
Review here

IMG_1377The Incredible Book Eating Boy
written and illustrated by
Oliver Jeffers
Published by Philomel Books in 2006
Review here

written and illustrated by
Anthony Browne
Published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1991
Review here

IMG_1684Dog Loves Books
written and illustrated by
Louise Yates
Published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2010
Review here

img334Painting the Wind
written by
Patricia and Emily MacLachlan
illustrated by Katy Schneider
Published by Harper Collins in 2003
Review here

IMG_2583Bub or the Very Best Thing
written and illustrated by
Natalie Babbitt
Published by Michael di Capua Books in 1994
Review here

IMG_3102Black Dog
written and illustrated by
Levi Pinfold
Published by Templar Books in 2011
Review here

IMG_3745The Dancing Tiger
written by Malachy Doyle
illustrated by Steve Johnson and
Lou Fancher
Published by Viking in 2005
Review here


written and illustrated by
Kathryn Otoshi
Published by KO Kids Books in 2008
Review here

A Ball for Daisy

written and illustrated by
Chris Raschka
Published by Schwartz and Wade Books in 2011
Review here

Infinity and Me

written by Kate Hosford
illustrated by Gabi Swiatowska
Published by Carolrhoda Books in 2012
Review here


written and illustrated by
Jo Empson
Published by Child’s Play in 2012
Review here

Flo & Wendell

written and illustrated by
William Wegman
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2013
Review here

2013 was a truly good year for good books! Now it’s time to move on and see what 2014 has in store for us! I am looking forward to some magical moments!

Thanks for reading along with me!
Your friend

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