Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
It is about the Polish family that ran the Warsaw Zoo in the 1940s and the impact WWII had on their lives. It was fascinating. Diane Ackerman describes the relationships of the Zabinski family including the animals in their care, which they treated as pets. Ackerman delves into the personal life and journals of Antonina (the main character), illustrating a deep connection to her husband and young son, the significance of her menagerie and how adept animal-handling skills aid her in difficult circumstances.
The book outlines just how far reaching Nazi purism was: I learned that the "ideal" Aryan race included animals as well. Because of Nazi officials' obsession with regaining a more perfect natural world (as they saw it), their desire for purebred horses and bison native to the area, and the political importance of the Zoos location and resources, the Zabinksis continue to live at the zoo as long as possible and see the drastic changes in Poland during German occupation.
The combination of historical detail, vibrant narrative, and quotes from personal accounts make this story intriguing. Ackerman appeals to all the senses in her writing and describes an era of chaos and terror with delicacy.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Finding color-combinations among sheets is fun. The design of the fabric isn't recognizeable in the finished project, but general solids/patterns/colors coordinate well.
They make fun gifts and it's a good stress reliever to keep my hands busy with fists-full of linty fabric (though clean up is a nightmare).
Friday, May 23, 2008
"Anne Lamott is walking proof that a person can be both
reverent and irreverent in the same lifetime.Sometimes even in the same breath."-San Franciso Chronicle
"the religious queen of crankiness; she's Christianity's Howard Stern - a swearing spiritual pundit who prays for redemption but brags about her offenses."That doesn't sound like child's play.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Bun and Bun Jr. were really happy to see me Wednesday night; they raced around their hutch, pushing their noses through the wire windows, eager to have a visitor. I put them in the mesh cage on the lawn and they tore up as much grass and they could. Bun made a daring escape and ran around the yard a few times before I caught him near the rose bush (I swear I could hear "Weeeeeeeeeeee!" as he led me in circles). I snuggled them as much as they could bear before putting them back in the cage and giving them apple slices. They miss you guys!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
- An entire closet devoted to board games.
- Kitchen cabinets filled with water bottles, aluminum bread pans, and cookie cutters we haven't used since 1984.
- The "homeschool closet" with random craft supplies from the old days of magazine-clipping-collages, dioramas and posterboard presentations. We chucked a collection of shells, cases of beads, rubber stamps, cardboard, and paint supplies.
Dad uprooting the wisteria
Mom on the new garden walk-way
Ian dismantling the giant branch that broke in the last windstorm (turns out the branch was weakend by a rope we tied around it as kids a decade ago)
Elliot, ready for ignition
Celebratory cigarNo smokes for the minor (Alex said, "Elliot, you can make your own out of sticks.") Notice the hand-held leaf blower: used by my brothers to stoke the fire.Success! Burn pile is reduced to embers
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
To celebrate we spent 4 days in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. What a perfect getaway! Jason found an awesome place to stay; The Friday Harbor House was luxurious. Besides lounging in our comfy room with a gorgeous view of the harbor, we shopped, ate out, drank coffee, talked...you get the idea. It was fabulous. We went on a whale-watching excursion (no whales, but a free pass for next time), hung out at the used bookstore, frequented the Front Street Ale House, and adjusted quickly to "Island Time."