Summer reading and projects
June 23, 2017
by Jenni Sebora

I always love to share books and reads that I have enjoyed, or heard about.

Reading is an absolute love of mine. Even just finding a good book among my collection is so invigorating for me.

Visiting quaint book shoppes is always on my favorite activity list – not to mention large bookstore chains, such as Barnes and Noble, or Half-Price Books.

If someone asks me what my favorite store is (aside from Target), I say “any book store.”

Most recently, my daughters and I spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon on Water Street in Excelsior – one of my favorite streets in Minnesota – great quaint shoppes, wonderful cafes and other eateries, and, of course, a nostalgic book shoppe.

I love it there. I never go out without a book purchase, and I always look at the shelf with discounted books. I bought a great memoir for a dollar and can’t wait to read it. When I was paying for this purchase, the book store owner confessed to me it is one of her favorite books. I hit it big.

The title of the little treasure of a book I found is “Ellen Foster,” by Kaye Gibbons. It has a little bit of everything in it, humor and compassion, and is heart-wrenching and engaging.

The other book I am finally reading is the second novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, “Hollow City.” I still have not seen the movie, now in video, but when I finish this book, I will watch it and then read the next book in the series.

The Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award is a children’s choice book award, and its purpose is to encourage recreational reading among school-age children.

Following are some Maud Hart LoveLace Book Award nominees:

• For readers in grades six through eight: “Almost Home,” by Joan Bauer; “Better Nate than Ever,” by Tim Federle; “El Deafo,” by Cece Bell; “Freakling,” by Lana Krumwiede;

• For readers in grades three through five: “Kizzy Ann Stamps,” by Jeri H. Watts; “Capture the Flag,” by Kate Messner; and “Ava and Pip,” by Carol Weston.

Great places to find books aside from bookstores are, of course, garage sales, second-hand shops, and thrift stores.

Reading is something I do when carpooling my daughters to their summer activities, the pool, work, volleyball, and theater.

I have been engaged in a variety of home improvement projects. We have been doing a lot of work on our backyard, with the help of Pinterest and just plain trial-and-error.

We finally departed with our great swing set and play structure. Yes, our children have outgrown them. It was time to get rid of all of the sand. That was like moving a mountain.

That done, we are now seeding the area with grass, as well as a vegetable garden, and a patio block and fire pit area.

Trial-and-error, here it is. Around our new patio area that we created with pavers, we placed four wooden and metal planters, one at each corner; filled them with heavy dirt and rock, and put an 8-foot post in each. I planted flowers in the planters, and we hung solar lanterns at the top of each post.

They looked fantastic, and then, the big windy storm came – and down went two of our posts.

Well, here we go, we should have done cement; so cement it will be.

After we cement the posts into the big planters, we plan on hanging the outdoor lights around the perimeter. Yep, trial-and-error.

We put up our hammock by the patio and hung painted glass bottles on the trees, along with some jars. When summer is over, I will be ready to relax in the hammock, read my book, and enjoy my labors of love – maybe. Actually, for me, a lot of the enjoyment is the creation of my project.

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