Thursday, March 27, 2008

This Week's Favorite Picture Books

Frog in a Bog by Karma Wilson; llustrated by Joan Rankin
Moo who? by Margie Palatini; illustrated by Keith Graves
The apple pie that Papa baked by Lauren Thompson; illustrated by Jonathan Bean
Time to say "please"! by Mo Willems.

Sayonara Saturn

I had been driving my car without a muffler for a number of weeks and finally got a free day during my “spring” break to take the dang thing in for repair. So, I was surprised to find that there was a gas leak near the engine, “your lucky it didn’t start a fire” the mechanic said, as well as an engine block crack, alignment work, and of course, that whole missing muffler problem. That is how we found ourselves test-driving used Hondas during a snowstorm on Good Friday morning, slipping and sliding, trying to locate the defrost button, lights, horn and wipers. The Honda passed the test and now becomes our 4th used Honda and our sixth used car in 10 years.
1970 VW Super Beetle, died 1996
Claim to Fame: “Fixing” the accelerator cable with a bootlace
1984 VW Golf, totalled 1997
Claim to Fame: Engine would die in rain, fog or dampness; car accident caused by reaching through steering wheel for strawberry jolly rancher, getting arm caught in wheel when trying to avoid hitting someone pulling out of parking space. Totalled, insurance money buys 89 Civic.
1989 Honda Civic (shown above), fell apart 2004
Claim to Fame: Trunk held water; home-made break lines.
1988 Honda Accord, disintegrated 2005
Claim to Fame: Wheel fell off while driving past the third district police station.
1997 Saturn, donated 2008
Claim to Fame: “Check Engine” light perpetually on, Julian’s homework lost down window and into door, smelled like wet dog and moldy cheez-its.
Staying Alive
1998 Honda Accord (Thanks Pat and Ger!)
2003 Honda Civic

Monday, March 17, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

weaving winter away

The sun glows warm again. And it couldn't come any sooner. Those winter blues had set in too dark and too deep. While the coiling kept my hands warm and busy and sewing by the light of many lux kept me alert, the lack of exercise, leisure time and good eating habits has caught me up and buried the flutters of anxiety deep in my chest. Today it warmed up enough for lighter jackets and walks in the neighborhood. Today the sun shone white through big glass windows and fell golden as it set in the west.

I begin my weaving now, holding my loom, my needle and my string in my hands. I pull the string, untangle it, push it through the eye of the needle and begin to weave in rows, back and forth, up and down. I weave through strands of stressful deadlines, willful toddlers and contrary preteens, through JB's 14 hour days and my sisters' failing mental health. Weaving memories into something cloth-like and substantial, solid and bound tightly from the fear and loneliness this winter has left behind.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Picture Books

Since reading is such an important part of our nap and nighttime rituals, I have been scouring libraries, bookstores and websites for recomendations for good picture books. Here are a few of our winter favorites, but we are looking forward to other suggestions, so let us know your favorite picture books!
Cars : rushing! honking! zooming! by Patricia Hubbell
The art book for children by Amanda Renshaw
What's so bad about being an only child by Cari Best
I know where my food goes by Jacqui Maynard
The best pet of all by David LaRochelle
Captain Flinn and the pirate dinosaurs by Giles Andreae
Bing : bed time by Ted Dewan
Bear snores on by Karma Wilson
Awake to nap by Nikki McClure.
Don't let the pigeon drive the bus! by Mo Willems
Flap your wings by P.D. Eastman
Fred and Ted Like to Fly by Peter Eastman
Psst! by Adam Rex
Gallop by Rufus Butler Seder
Go, train, go! by the Rev. W. Awdry

Little Engine

Here is Mai Mai with one of her favorite train tees, a glow in the dark thomas the tank shirt. If this one is dirty, she will insist on wearing one of her other train shirts. She has also taken to sleeping with mini tow trucks and carrying around her stuffed, red lightning mcqueen car (which made it into the picture with the easter bunny this year). Full steam ahead indeed!