Sunday, December 25, 2011

Road Trip! And Season's Greetings!

Season's Greetings! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Wishing you the very best whatever it is you celebrate.

We have made a crazy and spontaneous decision to hop in our car and head east about 1,368 Oklahoma! We'll be driving well into the wee hours and beyond. But we know some grandparents who will be very happy to see their California grandchildren and son and daughter-in-law (that's me!). Wish us luck!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Town Monday: Fun Holiday Events in San Diego, CA

Good Monday Morning to you all!

Yes, yes, I've been somewhat absent lately, not due to a lack of love, but to a lack of time. While I do love my children, Mr. Summy, friends, family, Christmas decorations, gift giving, and writing books, blogging, all of them together is a bit overwhelming. ;)

Anyway, it's that time of year when I get to feeling sad and nostalgic and wishing I were going home to Canada for Christmas. I can barely listen to Anne Murray without tearing up.* Being the practical person I am, I thought I'd google see what fun stuff I can get up to here in San Diego that would be a little like the fun stuff I'd get up to in Toronto. Here goes....

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado (thanks google images for the photo)

At the Hotel del Coronado, they flood the Windsor Lawn to make an ice rink for skating next to the Pacific Ocean Nov 23 to Jan 8. It costs $20/$25 (adults) and $15/$20 (kids) for a 2hr/3hr session, including skate rental (not many of us own skates down here!). Growing up, our neighbors flooded their backyard, and all the kids in the neighborhood skated on it for the winter. In fact, that's where I learned to skate, pushing around a wooden chair until I got my balance. This took years (joke).

Please click here for skating details, such as the times the rink is open.

Looking at the lights...

San Diego Boat Parade of Lights (thanks again google images. What would I do without you?)

I've missed the Dec. 11 viewing, but on Dec. 18 from 5:30 - 9pm, over 100 boats, all decorated up for this year's Back-to-the-Future theme, will cruise 7 1/2 miles in the San Diego Bay. It's free. The parade starts at Shelter Island immediately after the 5:30pm fireworks. Please click here for details about the route, times, etc.

I have a couple of other fun ideas, but I'll save them for another post. Have a great Monday. Be good to yourselves.

Please check out the posts by the other My Town Monday participants by clicking here.

*Don't feel too sorry for me because I may be heading to the Great White North this summer.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Book Review Club (December 2011)

It's hard to fathom, but today is our final book club meeting of 2011. There are, in fact, only 24 more days left in this year. Which means it's that holiday season, where you're casting about for gifts for friends and family. Cast about no more! Think of us as your book review elves! We've put together reviews of all sorts of books, sure to please the people on your gift list and, of course, you too. Read on!

HOW THEY CROAKED--THE AWFUL ENDS OF THE AWFULLY FAMOUS by Georgia Bragg, illustrated by Kevin O'Malley.

I love this book! I already purchased it for Child #3 for Christmas. (No gift spoiler for him, as I can't imagine he reads this blog.) Sure, he's a sophomore in high school, and HOW THEY CROAKED is rated for kids aged 10+. But I can just imagine him tossing out disgusting bits of info to impress the girls at lunch. Tidbits like: "So that Tut wouldn't rot on the trip to the next life, the embalmers scooped his insides out from top to bottom. To get his brains out, a long bronze needle with a hook on the end was shoved up his nose. His brain was broken up into teeny bits and pulled out one piece at a time." (pg. 2) Yes, Child #3 will love this book too! And I think Child #4, my girly 11 year old, will also get a kick out of this book.

HOW THEY CROAKED provides gruesome details of the deaths of 19 famous people, including Henry VIII, George Washington, Albert Einstein, Elizabeth I and more. You'll also pick up interesting facts about their personalities, their lives and the times they lived in. Get a load of the opening paragraph of the chapter on "Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Brains": " It was the best of times for Charles Dickens, the richest, most famous author in the 1800s. But it was the worst of times for anyone who knew him. Dickens was incredibly talented, but he was also a moody, dirt-phobic control freak." (pg. 117)

The writing style is breezy and fun. The illustrations are great and complement the text. The subject matter is gory, gross and gripping. I have three holiday parties coming up in short order. Think of the conversations I'll start!

Please scroll down and click through for more book reviews. You won't be sorry. Neither will the people you're buying for.

Happy Holidays! Happy Reading!


Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: HOW TO BE A GOOD CAT by Gail Page

Kaye of the Road Goes Ever Ever On: THE FATHER CHRISTMAS LETTERS by JRR Tolkien, compiled by Ballie Tolkien (ages 5+, letters + pictures)


Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: CIRCUS GALACTICUS by Deva Fagan (middle grade, sci fi/fantasy)

Jody Feldman: THE EMERALD ATLAS by John Stephens (middle grade, fantasy)

Sarah Laurence: STEALING BASES by Keri Mikulski (young adult)** Keri is one of our very own intrepid reviewers!

Linda McLaughlin: BEWITCHING SEASON by Marissa Doyle (young adult)

Stacy Nyikos: THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern (young adult/adult crossover)


Patti Abbott: MUDBOUND by Hillary Jordan

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: THERE'S CAKE IN MY FUTURE by Kim Gruenenfelder (women's fiction)

Kathy Holmes: LITTLE BLACK DRESS by Susan McBride (women's fiction)

Scott Parker: THE HOUSE OF SILK: A SHERLOCK HOLMES NOVEL by Anthony Horowitz (mystery)

Prairie Rose of Prairie Rose's Garden: STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG by Kate Atkinson (mystery)

Sarahlynn of Yeah, but Houdini didn't have these hips: GHOST STORY by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #13) (mystery/urban fantasy)

Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: A CRIMSON WARNING by Tasha Alexander (historical mystery)

Stacy of The Cat's Meow: A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES by Deborah Harkness (paranormal)

Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: AS LONGS AS THE RIVERS FLOW by James Bartleman


Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: ALL MY DOGS: A LIFE by Bill Henderson (adult)

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for a great year of reviews!