Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Rain Poem

This month has been the dampest, rainiest June that I can recall. I don’t think we’ve had more than five full days of sunshine so far—and today is the 29th! I usually appreciate a day of gentle rain in the midst of steamy, humid, blazing summer heat—but the weather here is getting on my nerves. It’s been one day of gray after another.

Today, I decided to post an old summer rain poem—one that I had written more than twenty years ago for a collection of seasonal poetry that I never published called Tasting the Sun.

Summer Rain Poem
by Elaine Magliaro

I like a quiet summer day
when clouds above are oyster gray
and rain falls softer than a sigh.
I stand out in the melting sky
cool water washing over me.
I’m a pearl all shimmery,
rough shell unhinged and opened wide
letting all the sea inside.

I’m hoping we’ll have some fair weather for the Fourth of July weekend!

Check out Tricia’s Poetry Stretch this week at The Miss Rumphius Effect: Monday Poetry Stretch - Acrostics.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Old Friends, Newlyweds, & A Poem

I was away in Maine late last week. My husband and I went up to the Ogunquit area to attend the wedding of the son of two of our best friends. The four of us have known each other for nearly fifty years. We met in high school. I met three of my other friends who attended the wedding in first grade! It was great to spend a couple of days celebrating a happy occasion with old friends.


Since I was away for Poetry Friday, I’m posting a poem today in honor of Meg and Hugh, the newlyweds.

Colors Passing through Us
by Marge Piercy

Purple as tulips in May, mauve
into lush velvet, purple
as the stain blackberries leave
on the lips, on the hands,
the purple of ripe grapes
sunlit and warm as flesh.

Every day I will give you a color,
like a new flower in a bud vase
on your desk. Every day
I will paint you, as women
color each other with henna
on hands and on feet.

Red as henna, as cinnamon,
as coals after the fire is banked,
the cardinal in the feeder,
the roses tumbling on the arbor
their weight bending the wood
the red of the syrup I make from petals.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

BTW, my husband and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary in July!

Mike & Me

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wanna Bet? Part Deux: Baylee's Revenge

Baylee sports my new 2009 Stanley Cup Locker Room hat to show that he, like the Pens, is a true Champion! (By the way, that is Connor's nose sniffing out the new lid, haha!)

Many, MANY, MANY thanks to Red Wings fan/good Friend of The Show KCJacoby for getting the hat for me after losing our seemingly annual Stanley Cup Finals bet. So do you think we'll be doing this again next year? ;)

Still to come - I'll post the photos of the Pens' logo posted on KCJacoby's front door once he sends them my way. Hopefully his neighbors didn't defile it TOO horribly...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Grace Lin & Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Blog Tour

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Written & illustrated by Grace Lin

Here’s the schedule for Grace's blog tour. Sorry I’m a day late!

Book Lists for Summer Reading 2009

Book Lists

From Reading Rockets

From the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Articles from Reading Rockets

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An Unplanned (and Hopefully Brief) Hiatus

Hi, Friends! I just wanted to let you know that I am in the midst of a project at work that is consuming my time right now. It was one of those "Hey, can you do this big thing, and oh, I need it by the end of next week" type of things, so I'm absolutely swamped and can't get to my TSCS duties. I hope to be back to my regular schedule by this Friday, if not before. When I return, I'll finally post those Stanley Cup Game 7 and Victory Parade pictures I've been promising. And then after that, I'll start going back through the Fan Photos from this season that I haven't yet posted. I plan to keep The Show going through this summer, just as I did in the previous seasons.

Until then, enjoy this:

Haha, posting these shots will NEVER get old!! :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

OUT & ABOUT: June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day to my husband and to all the great dads of the world!

Cruising around the Kidlitosphere recently, I found the following posts and articles. I hope you find some interesting reading and book suggestions.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Poetry Book Review: Incredible Inventions Compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Incredible Inventions
Poems selected by lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
Greenwillow, 2009

Incredible Inventions is another fine poetry anthology compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins. What one may find surprising are the subjects written about in this book. Many of the poems aren’t about the kinds of things most kids typically think of as inventions—airplanes, microscopes, automobiles, computers, telephones, elevators. No, in this book, kids will find poems about “inventions” like jigsaw puzzles (1766), blue jeans (1873), drinking straws (1888), Fig Newton cookies (1891), popsicles (1905), band-aids (1920), kitty litter (1947), and modern athletic shoes (1964). That’s part of the fun and attraction of this new anthology. There’s a good possibility that this book could be used to spark children’s curiosity, to encourage them to look at everyday objects around them as inventions—and maybe even to wonder about who might have invented them and why.

Authors of the poems in this anthology include a number of well-known children’s poets—Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Kristine O’Connell George, Joan Bransfield Graham, J. Patrick Lewis, Ann Whitford Paul, Alice Schertle, and Marilyn Singer. There are also selections by some newer voices.

There is a nice variety of poetry contained between the covers of this anthology. John Sullivan’s poem about basketball tells about the sport during the different seasons in a series of four haiku (sweltering night/one player left alone on the court/alone with stars). There are shape poems and free verse. Many of the poems rhyme and are light-hearted in nature—like Brushes Rule by Constance Andrea Keremes. This poem is composed of ten couplets. This is how Keremes begins her poem:

Time was when fingers did the trick.
Pat this, part that, do it quick.

But hair’s no simple thing today.
You have to gel, highlight, spray.

You need a brush to get things right.
(A comb will only tug and bite.)

In Signal’s Lament, Alice Schertle speaks in the voice of a bored traffic signal who longs to “signal” drivers to stop, go, and slow down, with a more artistic palette of colors than red, green and yellow. It imagines doing its job with colors like magenta, maroon, aquamarine, cerulean blue, and cadmium orange. The signal tells us…

I may look like a pole, but I have the soul
Of an artist, a star, a flamingo!
And speaking of pink, that’s a winner, I think.
Add a touch of vermilion and BINGO!

In another mask poem, Maria Fleming’s Velcro sings its own praises while denigrating the quality of other fasteners:

I sneer at snaps,
the lowly lace.
They lack my lock,
my fierce embrace.

Just try to name
a greater gripper.

(Don’t even think
of saying zipper.)

Kids are sure get a kick out of Marilyn Singer’s In Here. Kitty, Kitty. It’s a poem about Edward Lowe, the inventor of Kitty Litter. Here’s the last stanza of the poem:

He wasn’t Edison or Whitney.
Still feline owners didn’t titter.
Oh, to think he banished stink
with tons and tons of Kitty Litter.

Ann Whitford Paul entices readers to think “outside the box” in Inside the Box, her poem about Crayola crayons. She ends it with this thought about using one’s imagination and creativity:

But who says a seed
must be brown?
A field of corn green?
A flat tire black?
As you take crayons
from their box
break out of your own box.

Turn your paper
into a whole new world.

The back matter of the book contains two or more paragraphs of information about each of the inventions and inventors written about in the poems. It also includes a timeline.

Julia Sarcone-Roach’s illustrations serve as an unimposing backdrop for the poems in this anthology. They add just the right touches of color, humor, and whimsy.

Incredible Inventions would be a wonderful anthology to have on hand in an elementary/middle grade classroom. It could be a great stepping off point for a unit on inventors and inventions.

Click here to have a “sneak peek” inside Incredible Inventions.

NOTE: You can read my review of Joyce Sidman’s book Eureka!: Poems about Inventors here: POETRY SATURDAY: Joyce Sidman, Part II

My Reviews of Other Poetry Anthologies Compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Lee Bennett Hopkins is the 15th winner of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Read about Lee and his work here. Read more about Lee at the following blog post written by Sylvia Vardell: More on LBH and the 2009 NCTE Poetry Award.


At Blue Rose Girls, I have Sunflakes, a children’s poem that was written by Frank Asch.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Carol’s Corner today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Talbot Dishes About Winning The Cup

It's time once again for another installment of

Thanks to the translations graciously provided tonight by Friend of The Show Coralie R., those of us who don't speak fluent French can now get the scoop from straight from the Superstar. In the latest entry to his RDS blog, Max candidly discusses the big win, that handshake incident, shoulder surgery (!), and his plans for this summer. If you weren't a fan of Superstar's before reading this (← is that possible???), you definitely will be after. Enjoy!

Needless to say, we are on cloud nine since Friday night.

It’s like the NHL Network commercial that says: The Cup changes everything. I now realize how much truth there is in this slogan: it is really special to win the Stanley Cup.

It’s hard to believe that I am a champion. People ask us how it feels to raise the Cup on the ice. As for me, I was so pumped up by adrenalin that I barely remember how it was, it all went down so quickly. It’s afterward that we realize how huge this victory is. In the flight that brought us back to Pittsburgh, I had the Cup next to me for fifteen minutes. Such a special feeling.

It’s my first championship and the best one! I often had a shot at winning a cup in other leagues, but had never actually won. I admit, I did think about that during the final series and I didn’t want to miss it this time. I now have my Cup and I am a winner.

It’s also hard to believe that it was I who scored the two goals in our 2-1 victory in the 7th game. It’s now a part of history and these goals will be remembered. No one can take these goals away from me. The 7th game was the best of my life.

We always believed in ourselves, even when we were trailing 0-2 in the series against Washington and Detroit. There was this weird feeling in the locker room. We had just lost, but we knew that we had played well and that we could come back (in the series). We just had to keep on working and play our game well. Our head coach Dan Bylsma is an eternal optimist. In victory and in defeat, he always believes and he is always smiling. With us being 2 games down, Dan didn’t need to say much. We are a special group, and we always knew we could come back.

We won the last two games without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scoring. When the NHL’s two best players do not score, others must raise. You know, Sid did not have an easy time against Henrik Zetterberg, who did a great job covering him. He may not have scored much, but Sid did great in defense against Zetterberg.

The Last Moments

Not much was said between the second and third periods. We knew Sid was injured and it was capital for us to keep playing well like we had done in the first two periods. We knew we could win if we kept on playing our type of game.

In the last moments of the game, the Red Wings kept pressuring us. My good friend and goalie Marc-André Fleury made a spectacular save in the last few seconds. I was a little scared, of course, but it was part of our destiny. We believed in our luck and that we deserved this Cup.

Marc-André is a very good friend of mine and I wouldn’t want to go to war with any other goalie. When the Red Wings scored their only goal of the night, I went to see him and I told him: "Marc-André, it’s 2-1 and I have the winning goal. Keep on blocking the shots and we’ll win the Cup. Do it for me!"

The rest is history.

The Leaders

The series enabled me to get to know the leaders of our team. Bill Guerin has been a fantastic acquisition for us. He is a real leader as well as a warrior. My friend Bruno Gervais, who had played with him for the Islanders, had talked to me about him. I’m so happy for Bill.

Philippe Boucher did not take part in every single game, but he still had a positive attitude. It’s yet another way of being a leader. He was courageous and was always there for us. Phil was cheering us on instead of complaining. The same applies for Pascal Dupuis, who played so well when he was in the line-up.

A guy like Marc-André Fleury is a leader as well, because of the way he played.

The Handshake

Kris Draper has accused Sidney of missing the traditional handshake with some players. When I heard this story, I just laughed; it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Sid is the guy who has the most respect for the game and the people.

Moreover, when the Stanley Cup finals are coming to an end, there are so many people on the ice and all the medias want a piece of you. If he missed a couple of handshakes, I’m sure it was not his fault and that he didn’t mean it.

Hmmm... Perhaps THIS is why Siddo missed the first part of the handshake? :P

Big Emotions for My Family

I’m so happy that my family got to experience those precious moments. It was so special for my family members, who were invited at Mario Lemieux’s house on Sunday night. I had been at Mario’s before, but it was a first for them. It was an unique moment and my family is so happy to be a part of it. My brothers even drove from Detroit to Pittsburgh to be sure not to miss anything.

Sunday afternoon, we all went to the PNC Park, where the Pirates were playing, to celebrate our victory. Bill Guerin threw the first pitch and we got to visit the Pirates’ locker room.

The family also celebrated on the ice and in our locker room in the Joe Louis Arena after the match. When we got back to Pittsburgh early Saturday morning, we immediately went to Mario’s to resume celebrating. I’ll never forget those moments. [snoop: In case you haven't already seen them, I have some photos from that party at Mario's that I'll post in the next day or so. I changed my mind about this. After I published this post, I realized that these pictures were likely stolen from someone, so I'm not going to post them. I explained why in The Friends' Zone below...]

A Busy Summer

My holidays will be spent for the most part in the province of Quebec, but they will sure be busy. When you are a Stanley Cup champion, there are quite a few things that you must add to your agenda. First of all, I’ll need to have a shoulder surgery in two weeks’ time. I have a golf tournament on the third of July and I’ll also get to spend a day with the Cup.

I have a fishing weekend planned with my family that I am looking forward to. And I’m going to Las Vegas, along with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, to represent the Penguins at the NHL awards.

A Big Thank You

Before I wrap this up, I would like to thank the hockey fans in Quebec who supported us in this final series. There are six Quebecers in the team and I can tell you, we really felt your support. We also won that Cup for all of you.

See you in the fall.

Yes, Max, you will see us in the fall... And we can't WAIT!! :)

Go raibh míle maith agat, Coralie!! [May you have a thousand good things, Coralie!!] Thank you SO SO SO MUCH for providing the translation for us.

2009 Stanley Cup Champions Team Photo

I had a LOT of requests for this. I literally just found it and decided to get it posted right away since I imagine it will be popular. Here is a high quality shot of the team photo with the Cup on the ice (click to enlarge):

I also found a few other ones you might be interested in having. First, here's Sid kissing the Cup before presenting it to his teammates (click to enlarge):

Here's Geno with the Conn Smythe trophy (click to enlarge):

Here's a shot of the bench at the exact moment the clock hit 00:0 and they realized they were the 2009 Stanley Cup champions (click to enlarge):

Check out the look on Siddo's face (he's seated far right) as he learns that he has just achieved his life's goal. This shot is undoubtedly awesome, but...

And here is a stunning overhead shot of the celebration on the ice that came moments later (click to enlarge):

...I still think this one is my favorite. Look at that elation. It's beautiful. :)

My inbox is FULL of great Fan Photos from Game 7 and Monday's Victory Parade. I am trying to make my way through them all and get a post together. I know I said I'd have it done by today, but I need a little more time. Just know that I've made it my top TSCS priority.

What an amazing summer this is going to be! ;)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Parade Pictures!!!

Fact of the day: Pittsburgh is the only city to win a Lombardi Trophy and a Stanley Cup in the same calendar year. Those two championships came 131 days apart (4 months, 11 days). It took 6,220 days (17 years, 11 days) for the Penguins to win their third Stanley Cup. (Source: The Examiner)

Good Friend of The Show Jaime has made a special Stanley Cup Winning Captain wallpaper for us. She also made an icon, too. The quote on the wallpaper came from Sid's postgame interview following the big victory. [ wallpaper | icon ]

A quick note about the handshake flap that just won't go away - the guy on XM Radio's Hockey This Morning said it best this morning (closely paraphrased except where quoted):
There were about 30 to 40 family members and about 100 reporters on the ice for the celebratory chaos. The kid was being shuffled from interview to interview. A couple Penguins started the handshake line before the majority of the team was ready, and as soon as Crosby realized it was happening, he stopped what he was doing and bolted over to get in the line with everyone else.

He didn't miss shaking everyone's hand.

Why did Draper and Zetterberg even say anything? It's petty, it's a non-issue, and "I honestly can't believe reporters are wasting their breath on it."

Now back to happier things. Good Friend of The Show Gina S. was one of the thousands (and I mean thousands - Stan Savran estimated that were 375,000 people there as compared to the 350,000 on hand for February's Super Bowl Victory Parade) of Pens fans to make it to today's Victory Parade. She graciously shared some of her awesome pictures with us:

And because more is always better, here are a few of the Getty shots (P.S. - I want Dapper Dan's shoes):

Many, MANY thank yous to Gina for sharing her pictures with us! It looks like it was a day to remember. I wish I could have been there. (I can't complain, though - I got to watch it in its entirety online!) And thanks also go out to Jaime for another great wallpaper. Also - I just got a BUNCH more fan photos from Game 7 in my inbox from a Friend as I was putting this post together. Expect them to be posted no later than Wednesday. :)

The Small Graces June Auction Is On!!!

This lovely Small Graces painting is on auction NOW!!!

Wouldn't you love to own an original painting by children's author and illustrator Grace Lin? All the proceeds from the Small Graces auctions will benefit The Foundation for Children's Books, a small non-profit organization in Boston that is making a big difference in the lives of young readers by bringing children's book authors and illustrators into under-served schools in the Greater Boston area for visits and residencies..

Small Graces June auction URL:

NOTE: Bidding closes Jun-19-09 16:53:53 PDT

Click here to learn more about the Small Graces auctions.

P. S. I was the lucky winner of this painting in the February auction!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fan Photos of the Peng-WINS Game 7 Stanley Cup Victory!!!!

Oh yes. Wait 'til you see them...

First though, I wanted to let you know that will be streaming tomorrow's victory parade online. Also, the site is offering an updated 2009 fight song you can download. To get it, right click the following link and choose "Save link as..." if you use Firefox or "Save target as..." if you use Internet Explorer. [ Download "Let's Go Pens!" ]

I just love this shot of Geno dousing Sir Mario with champagne and had to post it. :)

Now, about those pics: A dear Friend of The Show was actually in the Joe Louis Arena to witness and photograph Sidney Crosby's first Stanley Cup win. Be prepared to be insanely jealous of Friend Dave S. (in a good way, of course!). He sent me TONS of pictures from Friday's Game 7 Stanley Cup victory. He also sent some from Games 5 and 6, which I'll be sharing in the near future. Of his experience, he said:
After the buzzer and everyone started clearing out, we got to head down to ice-level and celebrate w/the team for almost 90 minutes before they were all heading to the locker room. What a time! ... After all the traveling and tickets to see this I would've been so bummed if I didn't cap it off with them winning the Cup. :)

This year was amazing! Go Champs!
I'm SO glad Dave had such a wonderful time. His photos are absolutely amazing. Click the thumbnails to enlarge. Enjoy!!

Another good Friend, DayWalk3r, uploaded some of the montage videos from Game 7 for us to enjoy. (By the way, his YouTube channel is listed under HockeyWebCast
now if you're interested in following his postings.)

First we've got Hockey Night In Canada's Game #7 Opening Intro 2009:

TSN's Stanley Cup Playoffs 2009 Tribute:

HNIC's Stanley Cup Playoffs 2009 Tribute:

The Boys returned to the Igloo today for the Pens' final media availability of the season after winning the Stanley Cup Friday night in Detroit, and then they took in a ball game:

Welcome back, Champs! :)

A hundred thousand thank yous go out to Dave for sharing those fantastic pictures with us. And many thanks also go out to DayWalk3r for hooking us up with the videos again. :)