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Stacey Loscalzo

Latest Posts

Apr 18

This Moment: April 18

by Stacey

IMG_4810“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin- real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”

-Fr. Alfred D’Souza

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Apr 16

Books of the Week: Bunny & Chick Edition

by Stacey

I always try to find cute books to add to the sugar rush of our Easter baskets. This year, I am super excited about my finds thanks to two of my favorite ‘book recommenders’ (which I don’t think is a word but should be). One of these recommenders lives far and other near but both are most trustworthy when it comes to book recommendations.

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I read about Henny by Elizabeth Rose Stanton at my favorite ever book blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. I was lucky enough to meet Jules in person two years ago but for purposes of matching up to the paragraph above, Jules fits in category of ‘favorite ever on-line book recommender’ because unfortunately, she lives too far to swap book recommendations in person. If you haven’t ever seen Jules’ blog do hop on over now and especially look at all the beautiful art that Elizabeth Rose Stanton shares there.

Henny is a great seasonal book for sure but more than that it carries a great message about being different- both the good and the bad. It is after all, the story of an adorable chicken born not with wings but with arms. I mean, really, if that doesn’t make you run out and buy a copy, I’m not sure what will.

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And then there is perhaps the funniest bunny book ever titled Here Comes the Easter Cat written by Deborah Underwood.  Sally, owner of the Curious Reader and my favorite ‘in-person book recommender’ grabbed this title immediately when I told her I was looking for Easter basket loot. In this story, a narrator talks with a jealous cat but the beauty is we never hear the cat speak, knowing his feelings instead only through his facial expressions and an occasional hand made sign. If you love Mo Willems’ pigeon books, Here Comes the Easter Cat may well be your next favorite book.

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Apr 15

Twitterature: April Edition

by Stacey

It’s Twitterature time! Somehow this lovely link up at Modern Mrs. Darcy is upon us again. I can always tell how busy my months are by the number of books I have to write about when Twitterature roles around. Only two again this month. Hopefully there will be a few more books by the time the May edition of Twitterature is here. 18166936The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

I am still trying to decide if I loved or was really just confused by this book. I may be writing a review of this for Great New Books (depending on where I fall on the answer to the above question) so I’m not going to say anything else now…

10032672The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

This book is just as lovely as I had expected it to be. I had heard from a number of people how much I would enjoy this one and they were right. The Language of Flowers is the best kind of ‘chic lit’- a well written, fast paced compelling story about a girl, her troubled childhood and the language of flowers that helps her to overcome it all.

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Apr 14

The Weekend Papers

by Stacey

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We are a newspaper family. We are, in fact, so much a newspaper family that the girls thought that everyone got the newspaper in the same way that everyone gets the mail. They were awfully confused a few weeks ago when we explained that our neighbor simply didn’t get the newspaper.

We get our local paper, The Bergen Record, and the Wall Street Journal everyday day. Until a few weeks ago, when we decided to curb the cost of it, we also were daily subscribers to the USA Today. On Fridays we receive the Ridgewood News and the New York Times arrives every Saturday and Sunday. Rob reads the paper seven days a week. During the week, I count on Rob to point out any articles that he thinks I might find particularly interesting. On the weekends though, I do my best to read my favorite sections of each of our papers. I read all of the Ridgewood News. I read Bill Ervolino in the Record and I have recently discovered and now love the Review section of the Wall Street Journal. In the New York Times, I will read the Book Review and the Magazine and the Review, Style and Travel sections in that order.

For various reasons, our weekends have been super busy lately and it feels like ages since I had been able to sit down and enjoy my weekend newspaper habit. This weekend though I had time and I found many interesting tidbits that I thought I would share here.

The Price of Poverty on the Developing Brain (WSJ) by Robert Sapolsky explores the role of poverty on brain development. Research has shown that prolonged exposure to a class of stress hormones affects the development of the frontal cortex. The article states, “by the age of four…the frontal cortex already reflects their socioeconomic status- the scars of deprivation (at one extreme) or the bells and whistles of privilege (at the other).”

In Through a Lens Sharply, (NYT) Dominique Brown talks about her life as a traveler before she began taking pictures and after. The whole essay is well worth a read but a section I was particularly taken with states, “I click my share of landscape pictures. But I don’t return to them; they feel overwhelmingly grand, and almost anonymous. What holds my eye now isn’t the whole huge Taj Mahal. It is the crucible of a lapis flower laid into a marble corner.”

In Spice of Life, (NYT) Melinda Josie discusses her relationship with her Libyan mother-in-law. As a writer, Josie wrestles with understanding the lack of books in her illiterate mother-in-law’s home. By the end of the piece though she writes, “I thought of all my mother-in-law knows: how to feed a family of 10 on barely any money; how to survive four decades of tyranny followed by a revolution. How to give a poor child enough wits and determination to overcome his meager beginnings and build a new life across the world. From all I’d learned in books, what could I teach my children about survival?”

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Apr 11

This Moment: April 11

by Stacey

IMG_4785“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

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Apr 09

Books of the Week: Birthday Edition

by Stacey

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Tomorrow Katherine turns 8. I will reading to her class as a way of celebrating her special day. Over the past week, she has been thinking a lot about what books she wants us to read.

Earlier this week, we sat on the floor surrounded by picture books. I pulled out a bunch of our newer titles as I often think it is fun to bring books that most of the class won’t have heard before. That said, there have also been years that I have brought our most favorite, oldie but goodies.

This year though our collection is new and Katherine chose the following titles:

Silver Button by Bob Graham because she loves babies.

Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier because the little book inside is super cool

and

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown because it’s just a great book.

 

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Apr 08

First Glasses

by Stacey

IMG_4762Apparently my eyes are rule followers. I’ve always heard that if you’ve been blessed with good eye sight, things can change quickly when the calendar turns to your 40th year. I will turn 41 in a few weeks and today I picked up my first pair of reading glasses. I went to the eye doctor last week for a check up after having to return a library book because the print was too small. When the doctor put a slight prescription in front of me, I was amazed at how crisp and clear the words looked. Apparently, the deterioration in my eye sight had been so slow and so slight, that I hadn’t really realized what I had been missing.

Given how sensitive I can be, I suppose I am not surprised, but it is taking me some time to get used to my new accessory. I find some things look crisper and then if I look at just the wrong angle, things are even blurrier than before. I even think there is a chance the glasses may be making me feel ‘car sick’ when I use them on the computer. Or maybe that slightly nauseous feeling is just the stunning realization that I am, in fact, getting older.

Sigh…

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Apr 07

Overwhelm

by Stacey

IMG_4758Long term blog readers may have noticed that last week, I posted fewer times than I have in years. Each day, I thought that I would be able to write a post and avoid explaining why my writing practice is suffering. You see, I desperately want to be believe that I can do everything I want to do at all times but it turns out that there are a finite number of hours in every day.

A few months ago, I volunteered to serve on the board of our elementary school’s Home School Association (HSA). This commitment was due to begin in September. I felt like I had lots of time to get myself organized and ready for a shift in my schedule and priorities. And then, you know that expression, ‘best laid plans?’  Well, enter many unanticipated changes in this year’s board and two weeks ago, I took the helm as co-president effective immediately.

I love our school. I love our principal. I love being around children and teachers and classrooms. I even love meetings but don’t tell anyone I said that.  I know that eventually this is going to be hard work but fulfilling work that I enjoy. Between now and then however, I am swimming upstream as I try my best to understand my new role and keep things running smoothly.

When I looked for a picture to include with this post, the one above seemed to depict my current lack of control pretty well. I mean really, I have worked for years to train this dog and today I found her sitting at the table ready, apparently, to be served a meal. I am only surprised she wasn’t ringing a bell and calling for a waiter.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized how much I have missed this space. I haven’t made time to write or to read and comment at other’s blogs. I hope my ability to make time for this will get better but for now, if I am quiet, know where I am but know that I am wishing I was finding more time to be here.

 

 

 

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Apr 01

A Photo Walk: Almost Spring

by Stacey

This winter, my picture taking habit really suffered. When I look back at my pictures, I see tons of photos of the girls and the pets snuggled on the couch mixed in with pictures of deep, deep snow. While this is a pretty accurate depiction of the coldest and snowiest winter, I can remember, I am ready for new picture taking.

Thank goodness for monthly-ish Create Dates. I haven’t taken any good pictures in months but last week, my friend Donna and I had lunch and went for a photo walk. I wondered if we would find anything in our cold, grey, bleak neighborhood. Fortunately, as is always the case, once I opened my eyes, there was plenty to see.

Here are a few of the many things we spotted along our way…

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Mar 28

This Moment: March 28

by Stacey

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“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. And sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.”

-Emily Dickinson

I have been seeing these little guys all over Facebook and Instagram and was beginning to wonder if they would ever make it to our cold corner of the world. Today I took a photo walk with my friend Donna (more on that next week!) and look what we found!

And by the way, the flowers I included in my This Moment post last week were spotted inside of my Stop and Shop! This little purple guy gives me hope that spring might indeed be coming!

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