After I wrote about a stranger's astonishment that my four-year-old daughter understands what I read to her, and the book involved happened to be On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder, my mom sent me a link to an article about the recent controversy over whether Wilder's books are appropriate for today's … Continue reading Cultural Sensitivity and Laura Ingalls Wilder
Most of my life, I've enjoyed reading the same books over and over--not too often, but returning to old favorites every few years. I noticed that what felt like "a few years" increased as I got older, but then when I was pregnant with my daughter I suddenly wanted to read only books that were … Continue reading Two Books to Read Once
Well, it's happened with the second child: That moment when a total stranger interrupts my reading aloud to voice the opinion that the child is too young to understand what I'm reading. Here's how I described this phenomenon when my first child was 4 years old: I must say, I got far less flak from … Continue reading Our kids understand books because we read them books!
I've explained how to use a box full of seasonal produce in a week when you're cooking at home. But what if you've received your CSA farm share, or a bountiful harvest from your garden, the night before you're going to leave on a week's vacation? What can you do with all those fresh vegetables?! … Continue reading Veggie Inundation Just Before Vacation? How to Cope.
I wrote a short review of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, but I have more to say about this book. The author is a marriage counselor whose experience with clients led him to identify 5 distinct ways of expressing love and to recognize that the acts that convey to you that someone really … Continue reading more about The 5 Love Languages
Here's a sprightly introduction to my reviews of the books I read in the past month. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty There are multiple husbands with multiple secrets in this twisty story, which is sort of a mystery but also an excellent "modern realistic fiction" novel with lots of complex characters. Cecilia finds a … Continue reading Princess X and The Husband’s Secret Love Languages [book reviews]
Twenty years ago, I saw a catalog filled with practical household products that were better for the environment than the stuff we'd been using: laundry and dish and cleaning products made from plants and natural minerals, paper products made from recycled paper, tampons and cloth towels made from organic cotton. I was excited! But I'd … Continue reading Go Green in 2018: Can You Afford to Buy Greener Products?
Sometimes it takes me a while to get through a book, even if I'm interested in it, because other things are easier to read or more compelling. I had just started Awakening to the Great Sleep War when it started to seem very confusing, and then I realized that I was coming down with a … Continue reading Awakening to The Lake House or Drop City [book reviews]
Old televisions and old computer monitors are things we've all had to deal with recently, as we Earthlings make the transition from cathode-ray tube (CRT) displays to high-tech flat screens. By local standards, my family was very late to replace our television, but I bet that some parts of the world still have a lot … Continue reading Things Not To Do: Television Recycling Edition
I was recently given a gift, not because I need the tools enclosed but just so that I could admire the packaging. This is truly a startling example of the kind of thing you sometimes find on Earth that seems to be written in English but . . . isn't . . . quite. The … Continue reading Joyous to the “Eyebrow”
This article by Daniel gives more detail about one of the space-saving ideas listed in Becca's article at Kitchen Stewardship: I’ve enjoyed rock climbing since I was pretty young, but these days I don’t actually get out to climb on rocks very often. I do tend to climb on stuff at the playground when I take … Continue reading How to Build a Gym in Your Hallway
The books I've read in the past month were set in a variety of locales. News of the World by Paulette Jiles Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels around Texas in the 1870s, buying newspapers when he can and stopping in small towns to invite people to pay a dime each to hear him reading aloud … Continue reading The World, the Woods, the Moor, Cranbury, and Florin [book reviews]
Whoever you are, reading this, you deserve a tasty, healthy, homemade lunch! This one is easy, inexpensive, and low in environmental impact, so there's no need to feel guilty about it. Perhaps you're not struggling with that and would like me to get on with telling you the recipe. Well, first I'm going to show … Continue reading Hummus and Vegetable Flatbread Sandwich: You deserve this lunch!
Lydia and I were riding in the back seat of our car, along the highway at the beginning of our family's Memorial Day vacation. Lydia was looking out the window at the passing cars and suddenly turned to me. LYDIA: Mama, do you know about a tater-totter? That's a car but with two wheels in … Continue reading Tater-Totter: A 4-year-old’s Traffic Safety Invention
Chewing gum with sugar is really bad for your teeth. But some of the alternative sweeteners are dangerous, and all of them can cause unpleasant metabolic reactions when the sweet taste makes your body prepare to digest sugar and then there's no sugar! I'm very sensitive to artificial sweeteners, but I do like to chew … Continue reading Xylitol Chewing Gum: Health Facts and Product Reviews
Tonight I attended a meeting at my son's school (grades K-8) about the decision to hire a full-time security guard and get a metal detector. I meant to do some research before the meeting on the extent to which schools with metal detectors have experienced shooting rampages, compared to schools without. I ended up not … Continue reading Do metal detectors prevent school shootings?
My church planned a Lenten book study, and then our books came in late, so I've spent the Easter season reading Waking Up White in parallel with the fiction that looked interesting at the library, which coincidentally was all by Asian authors. Sometimes I make an effort to seek out diverse authors/characters in my reading, … Continue reading 3 novels by Asian authors + Waking Up White
Both of my children have gone through a sequence of behavior toward food that's familiar to a lot of parents: They started out eagerly sampling the foods their parents eat and liking almost everything! Then, around the third birthday, they became much more particular and soon established a short list of acceptable foods, just a … Continue reading My 3-year-old’s 3 Favorite Foods
Some fiction and some nonfiction, both with strong female characters. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly This book tells an amazing story that deserves a place in history, but reading it isn't nearly as much fun as watching the movie. I'm disappointed to realize that a lot of the most pleasing moments in the movie … Continue reading What I’ve Been Reading Lately
I love the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and have treasured the experience of sharing them with my children. Little House on the Prairie was the first chapter book that interested Nicholas enough for me to read it to him. His sister Lydia's first chapter book was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of … Continue reading Little House on the Prairie: Too racist for children?