Saturday, September 29, 2007

The 25 Comment Chalenge

This is a great idea from Patrick's Place.

The idea is to give something back to all the great bloggers whoes work we enjoy. I'm guilty of reading through many of my favorite blogs without taking the time to let the writer know I appreciate his/her work. Mostly, I write to people I know through blogs or in person. The comment day is tomorrow. So, I'll be doing some writing. I hope to hear from you guys too.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Booking Through Thursday.

btt button

Buy a Friend a Book Week is October 1-7 (as well as the first weeks of January, April, and July). During this week, you’re encouraged to buy a friend a book for no good reason. Not for their birthday, not because it’s a holiday, not to cheer them up–just because it’s a book.

What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?

I have a friend whose son is dylexic. He has support through the public school, but his parents look for ways to supplement his instruction. This week I gave her two books.

Helping Children Overcome Learning Difficulties by Jerome Rosner
Dr. Fry's Word Sorts: Onsets and Rimes

I love the Rosner book. He was an advocate for research into reading problems back when very little was known about learning disabilities. I was fortunate enough to see him speak about five years ago during a dyslexia conference. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, but used copies are available from Amazon.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Moths in the House


The cats found two moths in my bathroom last night. The bathroom is directly attached to the closet where the yarn lives. The moths were caught and eaten, but what do I do about the closet? Some of the yarn is in clear plastic boxes and bags, but some of it is stored in open containers. What do I do now? This is the master closet, so our clothes are here to.

Bill was all for going out and getting several gallons of mothballs. I don't want my yarn or clothes to smell and I'm worried about the cats. The kitten gets into everything and Pandora follows her to watch. I should have done something about this ages ago but kept putting it off.

Ideas anyone?

OK I'm back and have Googled. I've read that I should freeze and/or bake my yarn. Following that, I should but it in a very tight/small conainer with mothballs. Yikes! My sinus hurt just at the thought of the smell.

Iran ... ?

A fun part of home school is participation in important local events and the chance to view national current events as they happen.

Today we scheduled time to watch President
Ahmadinejad speak at Columbia University. The kids had been following the controversy concerning his visit with interest. We have Iranian friends. and the kids know what life was like for these folks before they immigrated to Houston.

Teaching about antisemitism, homophobia, sexism, and religious intolerance isn't always easy.
There are plenty of examples in our own neighborhood, but the children are sheltered from the worst of it. The biggest surprise for them was that President Ahmadinejad didn't look or sound particularly dangerous. He seemed sincere most of the time. They laughed aloud at his claim that there were no gay Iranians. Could anyone be taken seriously when they talked like this? It was amusing to them until they realized the question had been about the execution of Iranian citizens for their sexual orientation. Then came revelations... complaints against the Zionist State, assurances that Jews were well treated, insistence that the Holocaust required further study to find the truth, and assurances of the good fortune of Iranian women, and the justice of capital punishment for drug dealers.

We have a good friend who returned home to Iran for a funeral not long ago. At the airport wind blew her scarf off. Before she could retrieve it, two soldiers had her trapped and one pointed a gun at her head. Her husband covered her with his jacket while their eight year old daughter cried. She didn't speak Persian and didn't fully understand why it was so important that "Mommy dress like Grandma." Oh, a paradise for women.....

Have any of you read, Reading Lolita in Tehran?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Booking Through Thursday

This is a fantastic place to get ideas for new books. So, I finally decided to praticipate. Here's this weeks question:

Imagine that everything is going just swimmingly. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. You’re practically bouncing from health and have money in your pocket. The kids are playing and laughing, the puppy is chewing in the cutest possible manner on an officially-sanctioned chew toy, and in between moments of laughter for pure joy, you pick up a book to read . . .

I love
Jane Austen. When I'm in a great mood and have time to read, I'll pull out one of her novels. I think my favorite is Mansfield Park. The young orphan girl living with her snotty relatives and secretly in love with one of the boys she grew up with. I love it that Fanny writes stories and takes care of her family.

My favorite line from an Austen novel is spoken by Lady Catherine De Bourgh. She's furious with Elizabeth Bennet and her parting shot, "I take no leave of you Miss Bennet. I send no complements to your mother. You deserve no such attention. I am seriously displeased."

Oh, to live in a world where something so simple would be considered a gave insult. It makes me laugh every time.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Early yesterday afternoon we were warned that a tropical storm would make landfall about 2:00 am. We usually have more advanced warning, but this one caught us by surprise. The kids and I brought in all the lawn furniture and secured the windows. When Bill came home, we made plans to have the kids close by during the night in case of an emergency. But, by bedtime the storm was tracking well away from us, and we went back to our normal nighttime routine.

About midnight I woke up with no covers. I tried to pull them back but found them wrapped firmly around one of my children. I managed to free a bit bedspread from the kid cocoon and fell back asleep. Within an hour I was coverless again. When I sat up to try and unwrap the child my poor husband mumbled, "Is that one of the kids?"

"Yes," I answered wonder who else he thought it might be. No sweetie.... it's one of our neighbors.... I'm tempted to answer.

I looked down and saw why I had no chance of sleeping. Not only were the covers wrapped around the child but the dog and cat have staked out the lower half of the bed and aren't giving an inch. The dog looked up and me and snorted.

"Which kid is it?" the father asks while trying to unwrap the sheet. I started to scold him for not being able to tell his kids apart but realized I didn't know either. They are pretty close to the same size now and all I could see was the top of a head. I pealed back the sheet from the face and saw it was the boy.

We spent a few minutes trying to wake him up and send him back to his own bed. He was in one of those kid sleeps that nothing can penetrate and he's too big now for his father to pick him up and carry him. We give up and try to sleep with a 12 year old, a standard poodle, a tabby cat. It was a long night.

When he woke up this morning I asked my son why he was in the bed. He claims to have no idea. I'm guessing he was woken up by the rain and came in to tell us. I've got a major sleep deprived headache this morning but the boy is well rested and in a fine mood. Ugh...........

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


We have a new addition to the family. Here's Persephone. She is a rescue kitten adopted at 4 months old. Here she's 5 months old and very naughty. She appropriated the grocery bag when I got home from shopping. The vet reports that she may be a tabby/Bengal mix. The photo's were taken by Morgan.

Persephone was sick with a cold in the first few days after we brought her home. Thankfully, Pandora didn't get it. We took the kitten to the vet. right away and kept her separated from Pandora until she was well. The vet said that some kittens can get sick as a result of stress when the environment change.

As you can see, she is ruling the house now. Triton and Pandora are fascinated with her. Unfortunately they are also pretty banged-up. The adult pets are quite gentle with the kitten, but she plays rough. We've trimmed her nails repeatedly, but the other two have a number of nicks and scratches. Group pictures are pretty much impossible. They won't sit still long enough!