February 27, 2010


There are about 4000 homes without power in MA this weekend. The last 2 storms lashed us with high winds and torrential rains. Flood watch. Downed trees - including hundreds of over 100 year old ones at the Crane Estate. We lost power a couple of times, but only for a minute or so. Grateful for that.

This is a drawing of a doll face I saw somewhere while surfing. Am fascinated by necks.

February 25, 2010


One of the things I hate about watching the Winter Olympics on NBC is the sheer number of commercials. Not only are they numerous, they are mostly inane. And repetitive. So why, when we are not actually watching many of the events live, are there so many dang commercials? I knew there was a reason I stopped watching TV.

This page was created while trying to keep myself from turning off the TV while watching on the opening ceremony.

February 23, 2010

Random Musings

  • So I'm sure you've heard by now the kerfuffle about Southwest Airlines booting Kevin Smith off a flight because he was "too fat to fly". So maybe Southwest should air new ads: Yes, your bags fly free, but if you are too fat, you cannot fly at all.
  • I have been quite impressed by the athletes of the Winter Olympics. Not so much by the NBC coverage. Was mesmerized by the ice-dancing finals last night - was not even aware of this competition until this week. Go Canada!
  • We are in a snow watch zone, with no snow to watch yet.
  • Am sore after a game of racquetball with my kid brother. My ego is sore too - was soundly thrashed. Sigh.

February 22, 2010

Reading with kids

My book club with my 7 year old nephew is cruising along. We are getting in some good reads and discussions:

1. Ghost Town at Sundown
Book #10 in Magic Tree House (MTH) series finds Jack and Annie in the Wild West among mustangs and rustlers.

2. Lions at Lunchtime
Book #11 in the MTH series finds Jack and Annie in Africa among wild animals and Masai. Luke's fave part was when Jack and Annie scared away the hyenas by making scary faces.

3. Amazing Sharks
Luke is totally into sharks and loved this book.

4. Tikki Tikki Tembo
One of the books we read at bedtime. The boys loved the story and thought the older son's name a real tongue-twister. Jonah brought the book to bed the next morning, so we could read it again.

5. Ira Sleeps Over
Another bedtime book. A lovely look at a child's first sleep over and his anxiety about whether or not he should take his teddy bear with him. Adorable.

February 21, 2010

Invisibility One

The boys were over for a sleepover last week, during school vacation. We lucked out - got about 8 inches of snow the day before, so in addition to building snowmen and having snowball fights, we decided to build an igloo. It was done in 2 phases. On day 1, we built the shell and used the tarp to cover the opening for added protection. The flag was planted and Luke named it Invisibility One. On day 2, we decided to extend the igloo and added a narrow tunnel. Was hard work, but so very awesome.

You can see pics from the project here.

February 17, 2010

Recent Reads

1. Quantum Wellness
I really enjoyed this book - like the author's idea of leaning into better habits - upgrading as we go along. Reading this book brought up - again - the idea of giving up meat and animal products. While I have added much more fruit, nuts and veggies to my diet, the idea of giving up on meat stops me cold. Yes, I am aware of the horrible methods of factory farming. But give up meat completely? Something I will try to lean into this year and see what happens.

2. The Duchess of Whimsy
Cute story of a not-a-run-of-the-mill fairy tale with incredible illustrations. And nope, did not read this with the kids - read it just for me.

3. The Geometry of God
Loved this book. It is clever and insightful and brilliantly written. Was delighted that I was reading this on Darwin's birthday this year - it gave me much to think about.

4. Fun Home
Am re-reading this book for my book club this month. Loved it. Just goes to show that graphic novels are as valid a genre as anything else.

February 16, 2010

Comic Relief

Love this. Think of all the fun you could have. Go here to create your own.

February 15, 2010

Visual Journal

A holiday trio comes to a close. We have a winter storm watch again, and I do not think we will escape the snow this time around. Would be lovely to play in, so let it snow.

One of my xmas gifts had this chicken attached to the tag - decided to play with it - a gift that keeps giving.

February 14, 2010

Reading with kids

1. Afternoon on the Amazon
Luke has started to blow through the Magic Tree House series - on good days he reads 2 books a day - and he calls me after every one to talk about it. Love that. This book is the 6th in the series and takes place in the Amazon. One of my fave books in the series so far.

2. Sunset of the Sabertooth
Number 7 in the Magic Tree House series takes Jack and Annie back into the Ice-Age. This was Luke's fave book this week.

3. Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend
Luke read this aloud to us - the kids love this series of books. In this installment SOS (Sacredy's initials) sets out to make a friend, and things do no go as planned. Lots of laughter and giggling.

4. Midnight on the Moon
Number 8 in the Magic Tree House series takes Jack and Annie into the future and onto the Moon! Love how these books gives kids background information on so many different topics.

5. Dolphins at Daybreak
Number 9 in the Magic Tree House series takes Jack and Annie underwater to a coral reef. Just when you think things will end badly the dolphins come to the rescue. Love how the book introduces the concept of doing research to find an answer to a puzzle.

Luke is getting to be a proficient reader and thinks these books are "awesome". After he calls to tell me that he is done with another book, he has "to go and read the next book to see what happens next." I've given the boys audio versions of several of the books and Jonah likes listening to them too. A happier Aunt I could not be.

February 12, 2010

Darwin Day

Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around Feb. 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth.

And ain't is amazing that we are still in the midst of arguing about evolution versus creationism!

And wouldn't you know that I am currently reading this brilliant book that has me thinking about this very issue. Here is a quote from page 114: "There's no marriage between faith and reason. Only adultery."

Happy birthday Darwin.

February 11, 2010


Winter is when I most think about how far food travels to get to my table - especially fruits. I do try to offset my carbon footprint elsewhere, and do appreciate every bite, and that must count for something right?

I go through phases, and am currently in a pear phase. Am eating them daily - often several times a day. I like all types. And I love the lines of a pear. Such a sensual shape. So, not surprisingly, am drawing pears in my journal as well. Love how this one turned out. The background of acrylics was painted several weeks ago, and the pears are watercolor pencils.

February 9, 2010

Recent Reads

1. Whatcha Mean What's a Zine?
Love zines, both the paper and electronic kind. This little book reviews the history of zines and how to go about making one. Fun.

2. Heart and Soul
One of the best authors in the chick-lit genre if you ask me. I've read and enjoyed several of her books, and this one was no different. It is the story of a connected community, with trials and tribulations, and happy endings. A feel good kinda read. And sometimes we need just that.

3. The Genesis Secret
This book is not well written and has been giving me nightmares. So why did I read it till the end? Because I found it educational - the history and the science. A conspiracy only adds to the fun. The story describes some really sadist sacrificial methods that cultures throughout the ages have used to try and appease the gods. Simply horrific. I found the theory posited - an inherited cluster of genes with violent tendencies - an interesting one to ponder.

February 8, 2010

Who Dat?

Who Dat that think they gonna beat them Saints? Not Peyton Manning and the Colts!

What a great game. Love that the Saints won decisively - 2 touch downs ahead - so there is no chatter about a fluke win. Bet Mardi Gras has already started in New Orleans.

Anyone else notice how lame the commercials were during the game? Ads for TV shows? And Doritos? The best one I saw was the one with Brett Farve in 2020. Funny. As for the half-time show - not sure that I would classify The Who as entertainment.

February 7, 2010

Happy Super Bowl Sunday

I am so looking forward to a good game today between the Indy Colts and the New Orleans Saints. Of course we are rooting for Brees and the Saints. All morning have been singing (join in):

Oh when the saints
Oh when the saints go marching in
Oh Lord I want to be in that number
Oh when the saints go marching in

Oh when Drew Brees
Kicks Peyton's butt
Oh when Drew Brees
Kicks Peyton's butt
Oh Lord I wish I was in Miami
To watch Drew Brees kick Peyton's butt.

Go Saints!!

February 6, 2010


I had been looking forward to seeing Jim Cameron's new movie Avatar. The hype had been so amazing. I went in expecting a fun, entertaining movie, and that is not what I found. It made me quite uncomfortable. So, here are some of my thoughts on the movie:

1. The special effects are stunning. This is the best 3D movie I have ever seen.
2. Very clever creative use of so many things - for example, love the word "unobtainium". Brilliant.

1. The destruction of Pandora was painful to watch. When the huge tree fell, I could not watch.
2. The elimination of the native populations hit too close to home. The scene where the Na'vi on "horseback" armed with bows and arrows charge the men with guns had me in tears. I saw almost too clearly what it must have looked like when the Native Americans were massacred. Or any other native peoples. Guns, Germs and Steel in action. And in that context, the Hollywood ending seemed disingenuous.

So, maybe Cameron is trying to make a political statement about the environment. And if that changed even one person's mind about how precious our planet is, then in my opinion the movie is a success. I've heard people say that they were depressed that they did not live on Pandora. (Click here to read one such article). To those I say, open your eyes. You do.

February 4, 2010


Love, love, love spending time with my nephews. They are simply adorable. Some of the fun things we do include reading and doing homework.

Reading with kids

1. Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach
The 2nd book in the series we've read together. The boys love these books - they giggle the entire time.

2. Scaredy Squirrel at Night
The 3rd book in the series. This lovely book open up a avenue to talk to kids about nightmares - Scaredy Squirrel style. And it is full of words they do not know. Love when 5 year old Jonah used the word "decoy" in a sentence as he summarized the story.

3. Night of the Ninjas
Luke and I are reading our way through the Magic Tree House series, and this #5. Exposes kids to the idea of Ninjas and Samurai and Japan. It is Luke's fave book in the series so far. His second fave? Pirates Past Noon.

4. We're Off to Look for Aliens
The second book we have read by the author. The kids wanted it read a couple of times - they love the simple story and the fun illustrations. Jonah was puzzled that the guy would fall in love with an alien girl. Would I do that he wondered? Yes. :-)

February 1, 2010


Have been on a fruit kick these past several months - apples, pears, clementines. Yum.