Book Group–Saige

It’s that time again, book group!  This will be the last one for a while, but I’m happy to say that for me, we are going out on a high note.  I LOVED “Saige”, I think it is now my favorite GOTY story.  I’ve said it before that she is my favorite Girl of the Year doll, and now I can honestly say that her story is my favorite too.

Saige and her story came out not long after I’d been to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta and it really hit a soft spot for me.  Unfortunately the company my husband was working for at the time was on shaky ground so I couldn’t quite justify spending that kind of money on a doll.  However, here I am, 5 years down the road, a proud owner of Saige, Rembrandt and several of her outfits.

Which brings me to one thing I don’t quite understand.  Why, when American Girl released Saige and her collection did they name the dog Rembrandt???  That’s her grandmother’s dog!  Her dog is named Sam.  (Insert head scratch here.)  I still had to get one though as I’m a huge border collie fan.

Anyhow, on to the book!  I thought it was a great story that hit on a number of subjects that are relevant to not only current situations within schools (cutbacks to arts) as well as the problem of how to deal with changing friendships.  There is no real antagonist in the story, but Saige does reach a bit of a crossroad with her best friend.  I thought this was an incredibly realistic part of the story and something that many young people have to deal with over the course of time.  I liked how the author handled it the whole way around, I think it is a very relatable situation and the resolution was very well done.

I especially liked how Saige’s grandmother was portrayed.  I also liked how she and her new friend problem solved together.   As a horse lover, I liked the descriptions of not only the horses themselves, but the different items and techniques used to train the horse (and the dogs).  Plus how she and Gabi “saved the day” with their idea at the fund raiser.  And I would be horribly remiss not to mention the references to the balloon festival!

Albuquerque, New Mexico is considered one of the best places in the world for hot air ballooning.  On any given day (when the weather cooperates) you may see a balloon in the air.  I enjoyed how they mentioned that her dad owned a balloon and took people up in it periodically.  Each year Albuquerque hosts one of the biggest (if not the biggest) hot air ballooning event in October and let me just say, it is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been to.  The year we were there they estimated at one of the mass ascensions (where large groups of balloons go up at one time) there were over 650 balloons launched in one morning! It was truly breathtaking, I highly recommend it as a place to visit if you can.  The only drawback is if Mother Nature doesn’t want to help–not just rain, but winds as low as 12mph can ground everything.  Lucky for us, we were there for 5 days, so we were able to get to see a mass ascension as well as balloons on other days just drifting around above the city.  I’m hoping at some point we get to go again.

I don’t want to go into too much detail in case I would spoil it for someone who hasn’t read it yet, but I think it’s a must read in the American Girl series.  Did you enjoy “Saige” as much as I did?

Since this is the last book group for a few months and it hits on a subject near and dear to me, I thought I’d share a few pics from our trip to the balloon festival:

 

 

Advertisements

The Room Rearrangement

“Thanks for coming over to help me Jenny!  I knew I couldn’t move all of this furniture around by myself, and Marie-Grace had riding lessons today.”

“No problem Rebecca, I’m happy to help!”

“Let’s see, first we need to get this dresser out of the way…”

“The stereo needs to go to the living room.  We don’t use it in here anymore, we have all of our music on our smart phones now.”

“And this is going to go to the attic until someone else decides they need it or we have a big yard sale!”

“Now we just need to start sliding the desk over there…”

“Wow Rebecca, that wasn’t hard to move at all with two of us!”

“I agree, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Except now I’m not sure what to do with the poster, it’s hidden.  Hmm…”

“It’s so pretty, I’m sure you can find somewhere else for it.”

“Ta-da!!!”

“Perfect!  I kind of feel bad that it wouldn’t fit in Cassandra’s room, but I am going to love having it in here!”

“What do you want Lulu?  You want to come up here?”

“Oh great.  It’s now a dog bed.  UGH!!!!”

“This is not what I was expecting…”

Do the pets in your house always take over the best seat in the house?????

 

The Mystery Dog

While the girls from Pittsburgh were visiting, Trudy and Allie decided to go to the park and have a picnic.  The two girls really hit it off because of their mutual love of fashion and thought it would be nice to enjoy the gorgeous weather as well as take Allie’s dog Aspen somewhere to get some exercise.

“Such a pretty day, and the temperature is just right.  I’m so glad it’s not humid out anymore,” said Allie.  “I’m not used to this, in Arizona it was hot, but not humid.”

“I agree!” replied Trudy.  “I am amazed at how well behaved Aspen is, especially since you haven’t lived here this long.  Most dogs would be all over the place.”

Trudy had barely gotten the sentence finished when Aspen ran off.  Then they saw why–there was a loose dog running through the park.

They touched noses, then Aspen ran back over to hide behind Allie.

“Aren’t you cute?” Trudy said to the strange dog.  “Come here so I can see if you have a tag on.”

“I think he likes you!” Allie said excitedly.  “Yeah, let’s see if he’ll let me read his tag.  There’s a phone number on it, perhaps we should take him home and call.  He is probably someone’s pet.”  The girls quickly gathered everything up and headed back to the house.

After they got home and called, things got very interesting.  It turned out that the dog’s name was Teddy and he’d belonged to an older lady who passed away.  A member of her family had taken Teddy in, but he didn’t seem very happy and used every opportunity he could to run off.  They thought it was because they worked full time and Teddy wasn’t getting the kind of attention he needed, so they were considering finding him a new home.

“I’ll take him!” replied Trudy.  “I would love to have a dog like him, he is so nice and cuddly.”  After some discussion, everyone agreed it sounded like a great idea.

“Wow, this worked out so well!” said Allie.  “Yeah, I never expected to be going home with a miniature schnauzer when I came here to visit!” Trudy replied.

The girls decided to pose together with their dogs.

“Well Teddy, I guess it was a lucky day for both of us!”

Teddy is a vintage Steiff dog that belonged to our aunt.  When she passed away, someone almost threw him out!  Luckily Evil Twin realized what he was and rescued him.  Looks like he’s been rescued again! 😉