Showing posts from February, 2016

Mapping the Past

This book started as everything I love. Mingled old and new timelines, maps, the power of art, an old house (even a historic preservationist!), a cute dog, a love story, epistles, a mystery, a story based on history … it enthralled me for the first half or so of the book. It then fell apart in a dramatic way when I suddenly stopped caring about all the characters. It was as if I did not even recognize these people that had become my friends in the story. Even the preservation part went inaccurately wrong. I give the author major credit for rallying at this point and bringing it back around. By the end, I was glad I read it and liked the story. But it did take some effort to stay with it in the middle… I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

When Life Imitates/Is Art

Yesterday, Beatrix and I were lucky enough to attend a performance of The Story of Crow Boy at Heart of the Beast . I'm sorry to say HOBT has not been on my mind much lately (besides, of course, May Day). It's been far too long since I have been able to settle down in a seat in that wonderful theatre, with it's true theatre-paint smell and feel, with a real whiff of socialism thrown in. Beatrix chose seats in the front row, and it's been awhile since I have also sat so close as to feel part of a play. It was a magical afternoon. The show is just a little old for Beatrix (recommended age 11+) — mainly because, well, let's just say we have not had a lot of family discussions about things like Hiroshima yet. But Beatrix has been raised on imagery, and especially on puppets (thank you, Open Eye !), and she really enjoyed the performances and the sense of magical storytelling. We left knowing we would have to find some of Taro Yashima's books. It left Beatrix with

The Very Weird Valentine's Day

(point of reference - Patrick and I celebrated Valentine's Day yesterday, so we could celebrate it as a family today) It started with the car dealership. I'm trying to suss whether to put a few thousand into my car to fix it, or get a new one. And I got an email about an Audi event — so after dropping off Beatrix at Norwegian dance, I headed to the dealership. Where it was busy, but there was a full bar, because apparently drinking a glass of champagne before you test drive a car is a good idea. My dealership visit resulted in this tweet: Have a sudden urge to feel invisible? Be a single woman heading into an Audi dealership on a busy afternoon. Eventually (as in an hour later) they sent over the junior guy to talk to  a guy to talk to me — who guided me toward the Q3 because it was "cute." And to his credit, it was, and I like the car. But hey, no one even entered me in the prize drawing. Then Scalia died. Enough said on the strangeness of that. We had some

little felted dogs

In December, I bought a super-cute keeshond dog from a local kid who specializes in making them from pipe cleaners: I fell in love with this book because the dogs are even cuter, and I wanted to learn to make felt dogs. Plus, my 8-year old daughter (who has done felting before) is extremely excited to make them with me. The dogs in this book are SO adorable! I can hardly wait to make my own little pack of breeds! The steps are pretty simple, and my first try was a success. A few things I did not like as much about the book: -       -    The print is small (take that with a grain of salt, I really need new glasses). -        -   Each dog is only depicted in one pose (sitting dalmatian, standing pug, etc.). Maybe when I get more confident I can change the poses around. -        -   Some of the dogs are more difficult to make than others, and there is no warning at the beginning which is which. Best to spend some time looking through each dog pattern first, so