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since 17/12/2001


Richard Scarry's Best Learning Songs Video Ever! (DVD) 02/10/2009

Learning is More Fun When it's Scarry!

Richard Scarry's Best Learning Songs Video Ever! (DVD) In the fall of 2001, Sony Wonder took this lovely Scarry learning video to the DVD format. This was a wonderful move, and greatly appreciated by parents looking for a fun way to introduce learning basics to their little ones. Somehow, this video has become incredibly pricey and difficult to obtain though, and it seems to me that it past due for a new batch made available to consumers. Throughout the video, Scarry's delightful characters are brought to life in a simple and easy to understand setting for young viewers. Huck the Cat, Lowly Worm and all of their friends from school put on a show in a backyard for parents and teachers to show how much they have learned, and to express their admiration and gratitude to the various teachers in their lives from parents to actual school teacher, Miss Honey. A few charming songs, learning basics, and Scarry's endlessly enchanting cast of characters has been known to keep children as young as two riveted for the full 30 minutes of run time... over, and over, and over again. In fact the only real drawback to this particular children's video is that parents are in danger of Many repeat viewings! Letter recognition and the alphabet, numbers and simple addition, opposites, shapes, colors, and basic good manners are all featured in this wonderful video. There are also a few purely fun songs, like "If You're Happy and You Know It", which kids always enjoy, and learning the actions that go with the song engages children in a fun ...

The Pearl of the Soul of the World - Meredith Ann Pierce 02/10/2009

Dark Pearl of Wisdom

The Pearl of the Soul of the World - Meredith Ann Pierce She was alone in the cavern where the sound of water drowned out her thoughts. She couldn't let her mind wander and begin worrying at all that she couldn't remember. It hurt when she did that, and she didn't want it to hurt any more. Alone, speechless in a cavern filled with the sounds of water... that's how the duarroughs found her. The duarroughs, one of Ravenna's own people, are a sturdy and diligent, if dwindling, race. They have quietly lived beneath the crust of the world all these long years since Ravenna retreated into her fortress. Working desperately to keep the Ancient's workings in good order, the sun-shy duarroughs have resisted the sabotage and brutal attacks of the White Witch and her bloodthirsty minions over the years, reverently maintaining the hidden relics that have kept their world living long after the Ancients abandoned it. These earthy and clever-fingered people stir feelings of fondness and excitement within the girl, but they also stir her memory. They fuss over the Witch's Pin stuck behind her ear, and argue over what to do with her, but it is easier for her to sink into the oblivion that the painful silver needle demands; not to listen, not question, and above all... not to remember. Only Ravenna, the last Ancient left on the world they once created, could remove the Witch's curse. Only Ravenna still has the knowledge to free the girl's mind and tongue once more. But Ravenna has not allowed anyone in or out of her city, Crystalglass, in ...

A Gathering Of Gargoyles - Meredith Ann Pierce 30/09/2009

As Graceful and Gleaming as Death in Disguise

A Gathering Of Gargoyles - Meredith Ann Pierce Once just a green-eyed slave, Aeriel became something more when she was carried off by the same Darkangel that took her beautiful mistress, Eoduin. Her time as Lady in Waiting to all of the vampyre's wraith-like brides reforged her again. Aeriel's time in the desert with the people and Lon of Pender taught her to understand the changes she must make to achieve her goals. Becoming the only person to ever unmake one of the stolen vampyre sons of the White Witch will remake her into a legend. With only ancient riddles, a handful of relics, loyal friends, a kind heart and a keen intuition Aeriel must race against the powerful Witch's agenda if she is to unlock the ancient Ravenna's gifts and save their world. She has freed Prince Irrylath from most of the enchantments laid upon him by the White Witch, but she cannot free him from his own nightmares. His hallowed heart beats within her now, and the Ancient Ravenna's riddle is weaving a new spell around her, shaping her into a potent weapon aimed at the White Witch and her vampyre sons. Seven sons to replace seven Lons, made by the Ancients to keep the laws, and ward the lands and their people. Aeriel unmade one vampyre, but she must find other ways to deal with his once ill-gotten brethren now. Great and small, the White Witch's agents are everywhere, searching the lands for the mysterious green-eyed sorceress who challenges her. Staff in hand and cloaked in magic, Aeriel sails away across the Sea of Dust to find the six ...

The Darkangel - Meredith Ann Pierce 28/09/2009

Cross the Threshold

The Darkangel - Meredith Ann Pierce Aeriel is just a simple servant girl in a dark and dangerous world. She often feels clumsy, pale, stupid and ugly beside her young mistress, Eoduin. Yet it is for love of her mistress and sometimes friend that she climbs once more the mountain where the Darkangel stole Eoduin away. Determined to kill the vampire, she waits... only to be captured and put into a far more horrific servitude. Alone in an abandoned castle at the edge of a desert, Aeriel must brave the tauntings of the Darkangel as she waits upon his gruesome brides. So alike are the wraithlike, hideous beings that she cannot even tell which of them was once Eoduin. Soon the vampyre will take his final bride, kneel before the White Witch and then he and his icari brothers will wage war upon the world! Once the Lons, fierce and powerful guardians of the Lands would have stood between the Icari and victory...but they have nearly become legend. Is Aeriel brave enough to unravel the ancient prophesies and bring Hope back to the people? Is her love, kindness, and patience enough to save a world? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My Thoughts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ This was one of those lucky finds in a dusty old bookshop hidden in a tangled maze of backstreets. The artwork caught my eye and the teaser on the back of the jacket sold me...or sold the book depending on how you look at it! This is one of the most unique worlds I have ever stumbled into, and its people, creatures, and history unfolded before my eager gaze like ...

The Tick - Series 1 (DVD) 27/09/2009

All Aboard This Mighty Blue Train of Justice!

The Tick - Series 1 (DVD) The City... it never rests. It never forgets, and never, under any circumstances... attempts to explain itself. She's full of mystery, our City... like a cup of cocoa with too many marshmallows, there's always a dribble down one side. There's always someone who wants to take a big squishy bite outta the City too. Fortunately for us ordinary citizens, there's always someone else willing to slap the braces of justice on their villainous teeth! American Maid, who brings down criminals with a keen mind hidden under her sparkling tiara, Olympic quality combative acrobatics, and, of course, her stilettos flung with deadly accuracy. The Caped Chameleon who uses his amazing chameleonic abilities to take out the bad guys... provided he doesn't have to blend in with plaid or brick. The Sewer Urchin who rules with kingly honor all the denizens of The City's sewers; bending his will, his overpowering stench, and the might of his followers to the defense of his beloved City. Die Fledermaus, who... well, let's face it, isn't the best example. Even the Mayor knows that if they turn on the Die Fledermaus signal, he'll probably just turn off his phone and leave town for a few days. Honestly, even Bi-Polar Bear is swifter to respond in an emergency, and most days he can't seem to make himself get outta bed! Standing head and shoulders above the rest, literally... The Tick! Nigh invulnerable, this mighty blue foot of justice is always ready to stomp out some evil. With the help of ...

Written from the Heart 05/04/2009

"Give Yourself to Love, If Love is What You're After..."

Written from the Heart Just about four years ago, I found out I was going to be a Grandmother. At 34, a bit young for such a title perhaps, but I embraced the experience, as I try to do everything in life... with all the love in my heart. I am so grateful that I savored every second I was given because none of us could know that at the tender age of not quite four our Zak would be struck by a car and killed, half a country away from his father and our family. Let me share with you these life changing events... At his memorial, Zak's mother returned to me the doll I made for him with pieces of material from everyone in the immediate family as well as the blanket that I hand embroidered for him before he was born. The heart of Zak's faerie prince and the blanket itself was my handwork while on an extended trip in South Dakota... in the Badlands... This prince's heart still smells of the sweet sun-ripened Dakota winds, infant dreams, love and hope. His smile and open arms are always welcoming. Sitting in the sun, embraced by the winds and sounds of nature around me all those days ago, I sat beneath the cottonwood trees upon the wise earth and stitched whatever Creature Teachers put themselves into my head. As they appeared one by one around the blanket, I pondered... I wondered what this child would be like...How his oh-so-young parents would receive him, and grow with him...What our relationship would be like... What lessons these Teachers had in store for this little one...I wondered ...

The Shadow (DVD) 03/08/2008

There can be no light without darkness...

The Shadow (DVD) In 1930's China a wealthy American has risen to the top of the underworld, and no act is too ruthless if it means keeping his power. The Tulku (Brady Tsurutani), a holy man, sees greater potential in Lamont Cranston (Alec Baldwin) than existence as merely a cold and powerful drug lord, and he has decided, willing or not, it is time to reclaim Cranston's soul from the darkness he has embraced. "You know what evil lurks in the hearts of men, for you have seen that evil in your own heart. Every man pays a price for redemption; this is yours." ~The Tulku Lamont returns to New York a changed man with a dual life. Some, like his uncle Wainwright (Jonathan Winters), know him simply as one of the city's most eligible and seemingly dissolute bachelors. Others know him as the mysterious figure who has taken it upon himself to rid the city of every last criminal... The Shadow. Anyone in the city might be a secret agent of the Shadow for many owe him their lives, and if anything shady is happening in his hometown, rest assured he knows about it! When Shiwan Khan (John Lone), the last descendant of Ghengis Khan, arrives in New York bent on world domination, Lamont finds himself facing a truly worthy adversary for the first time. Shiwan Khan has also learned the extraordinary abilities that allow the Shadow to cloud and manipulate the minds of others, but unlike Lamont he has rejected his chance at redemption. The beautiful Margo Lane (Penelope Ann Miller) attracted Lamont's ...

Everything that starts with L ... 31/07/2008

My Lughnasadh Gift to My Family

Everything that starts with L ... Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light. Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory. Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning. Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young. Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone. Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground. Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky. Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall. Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring. Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain. A Ute Prayer Traditionally celebrated on August 1st or 2nd, Lughnasadh (Loo-na-sa) or Lammas (Anglo Saxon), is just around the corner. The actual date is variable and meant to coincide with the first harvest. Also known as Loaf Mass, now is a time to share and express that jubilant light within each of us; dance, sing, create poetry, share family tales, reunite with loved ones, celebrate the union of marriage and remember with pride and fondness those who are no longer here to share in the dance. The wheel of the year rolls from a time of growth to a time of joyous harvest as the first fruits of the field fill to bursting with Life and ripen. Ripening like the fruits and grains, our lives are there to be savored! "Today We honor Lugh, the Shining Young Hero, the ...

Everything that starts with U ... 27/07/2008

Universal Teachers ~ You Inspire Me

Everything that starts with U ... "A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron. " ~Horace Mann Inspiration and constructive change, either personal or social, has come from a wide variety of sources over the decades. Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammad are three immediately obvious spiritual Teachers who have inspired millions. In our own time, Mother Teresa and His Holiness the Dalai Lama have both dedicated their lives to inspiring others to practice compassion in every day life, to become enlightened and willingly evolving beings. The words of Black Elk, Chief Seattle, Jung, Plato, Aristotle, and many other philosophers or spiritual leaders from a variety of cultures remain just as inspiring, thought provoking and spiritually relevant today as when their opinions were first given to the public as food for thought. Teachers can be found in unexpected places though, and not all are so readily apparent. Randy Pausch, author of "The Last Lecture", has reached the lives of countless people with his story. Shakespeare or Roald Dahl have just as many Truths to reveal as many a more widely recognized spiritual Teacher. Anne Frank has changed the way that millions of young people look at the world around them. There are countless schoolroom Teachers who will never gain notoriety beyond their classrooms, yet they have inspired generations of children who go on to be leaders in the community. True life accounts, fictional characters, poems, songs, ...

Doctor Who - Series 2 - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) 18/07/2008

Love... Which Makes The Worlds Go 'Round

Doctor Who - Series 2 - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) Rose has come home for Christmas, but The Doctor is still recovering from his latest regeneration and looks to spending this holiday in a coma. It's up to Rose, Jackie, and Mickey to keep him safe until he recovers. Any easy task... until the Sycorax arrive on earth and hold one third of the world's population hostage! It's a "Christmas Invasion", but will the Doctor recover in time to act once more as the Earth's Champion? Favorite quote: "Ahh, not bad for a man in his Jim-Jams. Very Arthur Dent, now there was a nice man." ~ The Doctor Season two of Doctor Who unwraps itself with like a Christmas cracker... a bit of noise and flash to celebrate some simple fun. Throughout the season, we see Rose coming to terms with some of the less pleasant aspects of time traveling with the Doctor, and their friendship strengthen. This incarnation of the Doctor seems generally happier than the one we were originally introduced to in the first season, and we get the sense that Rose is someone truly special to the Doctor; unlike his other companions. Her friendship eases something within this alien adventurer, and helps to rejuvenate him in ways that a complete bodily regeneration can't! He exhibits a child-like enthusiasm and delight in this adventurous life that is as contagious as a good laugh. His first reaction is always keen interest supported by an amazing well of compassion for all life. When the more difficult aspects of his own life emerge, we see the storm so often ...

Paperhouse (DVD) 01/07/2008

Pencil or Crayon... You'll Be Drawn In Too!

Paperhouse (DVD) "With our thoughts, we create the world." ~ Buddha Anna Madden (Charlotte Burke) is an 11 year old girl more comfortable drawing alone than playing with others. Reclusive, angry, a difficult rebellious, but seemingly normal child. Her distant father (Ben Cross) and Kate (Glenne Headly), her mother, don't seem able to relate to their daughter. Dr. Sarah Nicols (Gemma Jones) does not understand the illness that begins to take over Anna's life with seemingly simple fevers and a sore gritty throat. Anna doesn't admit to that second fainting fit during a simple game of hide and seek. She seems to the impartial viewer to be avoiding the possibility that these symptoms might be signs of something large and potentially dangerous to her health. She just wants to escape into the world she draws. There she is powerful and things are simpler; easier to understand... easier to control. But something is happening to her, something subtly sinister and inexplicable. In a house behind a gate rendered by childish hands lives a boy who cannot walk. Here she meets Marc, a child who is also a patient of Dr. Nicols'. Anna's new friend, Marc (Elliot Spiers), draws too and he understands her like no one else she knows. Together, they meet, play, and talk in the Paperhouse where all that Anna draws... becomes reality. Is this dreamlike paper world drawing her in permanently? Can her drawings affect those in the waking world... even herself? Is Marc a figment of her imagination or a real ...

Into The Woods (DVD) 28/06/2008

"I was raised to be charming... not sincere."

Into The Woods (DVD) Once upon a time... Jack sold his beloved cow for a handful of magic beans that would change his life forever. Rapunzel let down her hair for a handsome stranger. Magic helped the neglected Cinderella attend the ball and meet her Prince Charming. A childless baker and his wife sold a basket of goodies to girl in a red cloak who was headed into the woods to visit her sick Granny, and the witch who lived next door revealed the curse upon the baker's family. Sooner or later, everyone must journey Into the Woods to find their happily ever after... but will it be what they expected? "Nice is different than Good." ~ Little Red Riding Hood ~~~~~~ My Thoughts ~~~~ This 1991 Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical is a must have for every family! Fortunately for us all, this production was filmed three years after the original stage enactment. The Broadway cast includes: Bernadette Peters as the delightfully wicked witch, Joanna Gleason as the determined Baker's wife, Chip Zien as the Baker, and the utterly fabulous Robert Westenberg in the dual role of Prince Charming and the Wolf. "The special beans! I let him go, I didn't know he'd stolen my beans! I was watching him crawl back over the wall when BANG! CRASH! The lighting flashed! And... well, that's another story, never mind." ~ The Witch Dialogue is rapid, witty, and carries deeper messages relevant to all ages. The interactive sets are amazingly versatile, yet simplistic, and also helped keep everything flowing ...

Stir Of Echoes (DVD) 18/06/2008


Stir Of Echoes (DVD) Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon) is just an average Chicago Joe working hard as a telephone lineman to make ends meet for his family. Wife, Maggie (Kathryn Erbe), and clever young Jake (Zachary David Cope) have settled in nicely, but we the viewers see right from the start that Jake is special. Tom, well he fancies himself to be a rational, practical, and sensible man; a skeptic of life's mysteries, great or small. His sister-in-law, Lisa (Illeana Douglas), can irritate him by her very presence simply because she prefers to embrace the inexplicable. Tom and Maggie are new to the neighborhood, but were quick to make friends in the tightly knit, and relentlessly friendly community. Thus, Tom, Maggie, and Lisa find themselves attending a party where Lisa ends up hypnotizing Tom, despite his brash confidence that all such things are incapable of affecting anyone. As the film's tagline says, however, "Some doors weren't meant to be opened", and he begins suffering from increasingly vivid and terrifying dreams, visions, and other phenomena. At the center of all these events is the image of girl he never knew. The rumors have flown fast and furious about what became of Samantha Kozac who disappeared not too long ago. Although this single dark cloud seems to have hardly cast a shadow across their sunny community. Yet, it looms largest for this now highly sensitive soul who has stumbled across this vague silhouette of a stranger. In fact, it threatens to consume his sanity! Can he ...

Gift, The 17/06/2008

"Tuscan Rouge... What Was I Thinking?!"

Gift, The Annie Wilson (Cate Blanchett) is a struggling widow with three boys trying to make ends meet in her small bayou town. In addition to what she receives from Social Security, she accepts donations for psychic readings. Annie has regular clients who range from half-wild bayou boys to a typical abused wife of a more civilized redneck. She might have continued to struggle from day to day in her quiet anonymity, if it weren't for Jessica King (Katie Holmes). Jessica is the spoiled daughter of a prominent citizen and fiancee of Wayne Collins (Greg Kinear), the charming and sincere principal at the local school where Annie's eldest has been getting into fights. From the day she meets Jessica in Wayne's office, she is disturbed by troubling visions surrounding the couple. When Jessica disappears, her loved ones fear the worst. When all the usual efforts yield nothing, her father turns to Annie hoping her gift will reveal the whereabouts of his beloved daughter. Annie's visions start coming fast and vivid, but a gift like Annie's doesn't always make things clear. When a body is found and suspicion falls on Donnie Barksdale (Keanu Reeves), Annie's life of quiet homely worries explodes into a small town scandalous whirlwind that may cause more damage than it wipes out! Barksdale's bigoted and violent ways had found a foothold in the Wilson home through his abused wife sneaking to Annie for readings, and folks have to wonder if Annie is just trying to get some of her own back on ...

Gentle Leader Dog Collar 28/05/2008

Following the Leader

Gentle Leader Dog Collar March of last year our dog, Rogue, had a litter of pups. This was just 2 weeks before that awful pet food recall. Sadly a small portion of tainted wet food sent Rogue into labor a day early and we lost half her beautiful litter. Of the four remaining, one male, Cisco, went to live with his father. One female, Chica, went to live with a young girl desperately in need of a friend and protector; her very first dog and much loved. The last two, Louis (short for Lucifur) and Mortisha have remained with Rogue. Now, Rogue's heritage is explained by her name. Her mother was a German Shepherd and her father was a mysterious visitor during a dark and stormy night. She's on the small side for Shepherd, but looks like a rather shaggy black Shepherd. Tish and Lou are what we like to call Mostly Shepherd, as their father is also a pure German Shepherd. They are larger than their mother though, if not quite as large as their father, and greatly resemble slightly less shaggy black Belgian Shepherds. Life circumstances made it challenging for them to receive enough proper leash time while still young pups, and as a result we had two large, nervous, highly sensitive and excitable Large pups attempting to drag us down the streets at high speeds! The Sporn Anti-pull harness that worked so well with their mother, simply didn't do the job when it came to restraining them properly while we began working this extra energy off of them. While perusing our options we came across the Gentle ...
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